An American Airlines passenger was pulled from a flight last week, before take off after a reported case of COVID-19.
Paul Varner of Denton and his girlfriend had planned to be in New York last week.
“It’s a trip that we had planned as a Christmas present for ourselves, and so yes, it’s very, very frustrating,” Varner said.
They had no problem at the airport until they boarded the plane, and the man sitting next to him was asked to get off.
“I had been there for about 10 minutes, an American Airlines employee came up, approached the gentlemen and asked for his name. He confirmed that was his name, and he told him to please take his things and get off the plane, ”Varner said.
An American Airlines spokesperson said in a statement: “Prior to departure on December 17, American was made aware of a customer with a possible case of COVID-19 aboard Flight 618 with service from DFW to EWR. The team followed the CDC’s direction in asking the client to exit the plane and performing an enhanced clean-up of the area. As a precaution, all customers disembarked from the plane to allow a complete cleaning of the plane.
American Airlines did not say how it was alerted to the matter, for reasons of confidentiality. The plane eventually made it to Newark International Airport. But Paul and his girlfriend weren’t there.
“Honestly, if we had been seated a few aisles away from the person, we wouldn’t have canceled. We chose to cancel because we were literally right next to him, “said Paul, later adding,” My concern was, you know yeah, I got all that vaccinated, but if I chose to go from there ‘before and to continue the journey, if we had left we would have come back last night. But what if I had caught COVID, if I had indeed caught COVID. I am now in New York, I have COVID. I can’t travel, how can I get home.
Varner did a home test with negative results. Now he’s waiting for the results of his PCR test, which medical experts say are the most accurate tests available.