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American Airlines Flight Attendant Clashes With Airline Over Choice To Wear Face Shield

BOSTON (CBS) -- When the coronavirus started sweeping across the globe, a Boston-based American Airlines flight attendant decided that working in a small space like an airplane required more than the face mask that the company was providing.

"I took it upon myself to buy a face shield because I don't want to potentially expose passengers or my fellow flight attendants or team members," said flight attendant Deidre Marie.

But American Airlines banned her from wearing the face shield, telling Marie it hindered emergency procedures and would make passengers uncomfortable. She told them it can be removed in a split second if need be, but American Airlines pushed back.

The airline said in a statement Friday: "We'll continue to study this issue, but our current standard is for flight crews to wear face covering and to follow other important procedures such as frequent hand washing as the most effective ways to stay safe."

Deidre Marie (Photo Courtesy: Deidre Marie)

The airline said they're following CDC protocols that don't require face shields. Marie said she still feels safer with the face shield and will continue to wear it.

"It should be a personal choice for us to be able to wear a shield as opposed to the goggles that the airline is trying to provide for us," she said. "Safety should come first in a pandemic like this."

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