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Couple kicked off Miami-New York flight because of T-shirt

I just saw this news story, and it gave me hope that there is still a bit of sanity and morals left in the world.  I'll be more inclined to fly American Airlines because of their courage to act against morons like this. 

If tradition holds, I'm sure the ACLU will file a lawsuit aganst American.

MIAMI - A couple returning home from a Costa Rican vacation was ejected from an American Airlines flight because the man was wearing a T-shirt depicting a bare breast.

Oscar Arela and his girlfriend, Tala Tow, were removed from Flight 952 on Saturday after he refused to change the shirt or turn it inside out at Miami International Airport. The flight left 90 minutes late without them.

The couple, making a connecting flight from Costa Rica, said nobody on the earlier flight objected to the shirt and claimed the airline violated their constitutional right to free speech.

"It's a picture of a man and woman, and the woman's breast is showing," Tow said. "The flight attendant basically walked up to us and yelled, 'You have to take off that shirt right now.'"

American spokesman Tim Wagner said Sunday that crew members acted properly.

"The description I heard was a picture of a graphic of a naked man and woman pernorming a sexual act," he said. "We as an airline are in the service business, and we have the same latitude as a restaurant that says proper attire is required."

Tow said four Miami-Dade police officers and three federal security agents escorted her and Arela off the flight. She said the T-shirt image was reproduced from a Venezuelan record label.

Wagner said the couple could legally be barred from the flight even though they committed no crime. The airline gave them a refund. He did not know if they booked another flight.

"I'd like to figure out how a T-shirt that offends one member of the crew somehow impacts the safety of the flight or the ability of the flight to continue to New York," said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. "If they want to permit this kind of action by flight attendants, then they better have a clear policy that is announced in advance and made known to passengers in advance."


  • We had a similar thing happen at a school I attended when a young man wore a tee shirt that said BIG BUTTS DRIVES ME NUTS their was a pic of this huge naked butt on the front of the tee. The guy would walk the halls proudly showing his tee. It caught the eye of the principal and he called a conference having everyone show up in the auditorium. The principal said anyone caught wearing anything like this would be expelled. When he brought the guy out who had a huge belly ware the butt was. Everybody in the auditorium cracked up for about 5 minutes it was the funniest thing I ever witnessed. After that nobody wore those kind of shirts unless they wanted to get expelled from school.

    By four4me, at 4:22 PM

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