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Airline Bans Defiant NJ Gym Owner Over Maskless Trip From CPAC Home To Philly

Ian Smith and Shelley Luther at CPAC last month, where Smith said he and others took a "major stand against lockdowns."
Ian Smith and Shelley Luther at CPAC last month, where Smith said he and others took a "major stand against lockdowns." Photo Credit: Ian Smith Instagram

A New Jersey gym owner who made headlines for refusing to close his facility at the onset of the pandemic is yet again causing more controversy.

Ian Smith, 33 -- who owns Atilis Gym in Bellmawr -- is banned from American Airlines after refusing to wear a mask on a recent trip.

Smith was flying in to Philadelphia after attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, and apparently refused to wear a mask on the flight, airline officials confirmed.

Smith shared a screenshot of an email he received from the airline on Instagram.

Smith's response?

"What they want is to scare you," he captions the photo. 

"⁣I refuse to blindly follow orders to do something that not only will not protect my health, but also put it at risk for other issues."

An American Airlines spokesman told the New York Post that Smith was banned from flying on the airline after the Feb. 26 flight from Orlando to Philadelphia.

As long as AA's face covering policy is in place, Smith won't be permitted to fly, the rep confirmed.

Smith and Atilis co-owner Frank Trumbetti were arrested in July 2020 and lost their gym ownership license for continuously defying Gov. Phil Murphy's COVID-19 shutdown orders.

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