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Woman kicked off flight over offensive T-shirt

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Woman kicked off flight over offensive T-shirt

Old 10-07-05, 01:06 PM
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Woman kicked off flight over offensive T-shirt

click on the link and view the video
instead of "Meet the Fockers", it's "Meet the Fuckers"
Bush, Condi, Rummy are on it
Isn't this consider free speech???

http://www.krnv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3939788&nav=8faO

A Washington woman's flight home was stopped short in Reno, all because the message on the T-shirt she was wearing.

32-year-old Lorrie Heasley claims it's a freedom of speech privilege, but airline officials say it was about passenger comfort.

Heasley, "There are bigger problems in the country, I can't believe people can be so petty."

Heasley boarded her flight Tuesday morning in Los Angeles, headed for Portland, Oregon with a stopover in Reno. But when Southwest Airlines employees asked her to cover her shirt, her stop over became a stop off her flight.

"I was told that basically that I had to cover my shirt, or I was told if I cover the shirt I can basically stay on the plane."

So she covered the shirt, but during a nap while passengers were boarding in Reno the cover came off. And Southwest employees insisted, change the shirt, or change flights. "I didn't feel that I should have to change my shirt, because we live in the United States, and it's freedom of speech and it was based on the move "The Fockers", and I didn't think it should have offended anyone."

But it did.

The shirt had pictures of members of the Bush Administration, and a phrase based on the movie "Meet the Fockers," but with one crucial vowel changed.

It was enough to cause complaints from other passengers and it's a problem the airline has had to deal with before.

Beth Harbin, Southwest Airlines, "We do get it occasionally. What someone is wearing, what someone is reading, what someone might be saying and it's very much a judgment call. But when other customers become concerned we do have to become involved in that and see what we can do to make everyone as comfortable as we can."

Heasley says she wore the T-shirt as a gag, and wanted her parents, both Democrats, to see it when they picked her up at the airport.

Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Marilee McInnis says the shirt became an issue after several passengers complained as they boarded.

McInnis says Southwest rules allow the airline to deny boarding to any passenger whose clothing is offensive. But American Civil Liberties Union officials say Heasley's T-shirt is "protected" political speech under the Constitution.

And while Southwest may have kept the peace on it's afternoon hop to Portland, a woman, not afraid to use her freedom of speech will now be using her freedom of choice.

"I most likely wont be flying Southwest Airlines again after this."

Southwest Airlines told Heasley she could take a different flight home if she changed her shirt. She refused and opted to rent a car and drive home.

Heasley says she plans to press a civil-rights complaint against the airline over Tuesday's action at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
Old 10-07-05, 01:08 PM
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She should have the right to wear it but if someone would wear a shirt like that in public they are a dumbass. Why would she wear a shirt like that if she didn't want it to draw attention?
Old 10-07-05, 01:09 PM
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Santa Vaca!!!!
Old 10-07-05, 01:10 PM
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ACLU is wrong. Southwest is a private company, they can let people on however they want.

IIRC, something similar happened on an episode of "Airline." In that case, the person just turned the shirt inside-out and was good to go.
Old 10-07-05, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Mopower
She should have the right to wear it but if someone would wear a shirt like that in public they are a dumbass. Why would she wear a shirt like that if she didn't want it to draw attention?
Pretty much.
Old 10-07-05, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mopower
She should have the right to wear it but if someone would wear a shirt like that in public they are a dumbass. Why would she wear a shirt like that if she didn't want it to draw attention?
Yeah that's the reason I don't wear my TShirt hell shirt very often...

Old 10-07-05, 01:37 PM
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The only issue I have with this is that Southwest was half-assed about it. Once they flew her to Reno, how do you then essentially leave her there, when it wasn't the destination she paid for?

In general, though, I support private industry having free reign over their property and services. This isn't a free speech violation.
Old 10-07-05, 01:46 PM
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Its tough, because even though it is a private company, they are opperating in public space.

Bottomline: This woman was stupid for wearing the shirt, and those offended are stupid for complaining. All should be exterminated.
Old 10-07-05, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
ACLU is wrong. Southwest is a private company, they can let people on however they want.
Here's "how they want":

F. Comfort and Safety - Carrier may refuse to transport or remove from the aircraft at any
point any passenger in the following categories as may be necessary for the comfort or safety of such passenger or other passengers:

(1) Persons whose conduct is or has been known to be disorderly, abusive, offensive, threatening, intimidating, or violent, or whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive;
Available at their website. She is entitled under the contract to refund of the unused portion of her ticket, that's all.

"I most likely wont be flying Southwest Airlines again after this."
This is the correct response - if you don't like the policy, don't buy the ticket.
Fortunately, the lawsuit will help keep any idle lawyers in the area from hanging out on the streets.
Old 10-07-05, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by flagstone
This is the correct response - if you don't like the policy, don't buy the ticket.
Good point, although I'm unaware of any commericial carrier that allows t-shirts with the word "FUCK" on them to be worn by passengers.
Old 10-07-05, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by joshd2012
Its tough, because even though it is a private company, they are opperating in public space.
What do you mean they're operating in public space?
Old 10-07-05, 02:10 PM
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Good. Stupid gal.
Old 10-07-05, 02:50 PM
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Southwest is a private company. They can do what they want, especially to serve their other customers.

Yes, there are bigger problems in the country. Fortunately, no time was wasted in solving them by kicking her off the flight. My car needs an oil change... and I won't wait until we have a cure for cancer before I get one.
Old 10-07-05, 03:05 PM
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"I most likely will be flying Southwest Airlines more often after this."
Old 10-07-05, 03:15 PM
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True, the woman is an asshat, but at least she has the courtesy to wear something advertising that fact. I, for one, appreciate the warning.
Old 10-07-05, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Goldblum
What do you mean they're operating in public space?
The National Airspace System, operated and maintained by the FAA. Including, but not limited to, navigational aids, aeronautical data, air traffic controllers, etc.
Old 10-07-05, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by shaun3000
The National Airspace System, operated and maintained by the FAA. Including, but not limited to, navigational aids, aeronautical data, air traffic controllers, etc.
Was she hanging out in the tower or something? They didn't throw her out of the airport... just the plane.
Old 10-07-05, 04:22 PM
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It's not a freedom of speech issue. What gets me is this quote, though:

Beth Harbin, Southwest Airlines, "We do get it occasionally. What someone is wearing, what someone is reading, what someone might be saying and it's very much a judgment call. But when other customers become concerned we do have to become involved in that and see what we can do to make everyone as comfortable as we can."
I can't imagine a situation where someone got offended over someone else's choice of reading material, or how the airline could stop them from reading it. Even if someone was reading Mein Kampf, all they would have to do is place the book so the cover doesn't show.
Old 10-07-05, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquitobite
Yeah that's the reason I don't wear my TShirt hell shirt very often...

I wouldn't wear a shirt with a big red x on it either. Only geeks would know what it ment.
Old 10-07-05, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
It's not a freedom of speech issue. What gets me is this quote, though:



I can't imagine a situation where someone got offended over someone else's choice of reading material, or how the airline could stop them from reading it. Even if someone was reading Mein Kampf, all they would have to do is place the book so the cover doesn't show.
I can imagine a mother being offended if a guy sitting next to her 8-year-old son was reading an issue of Hustler.
Old 10-07-05, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Good point, although I'm unaware of any commericial carrier that allows t-shirts with the word "FUCK" on them to be worn by passengers.
True, but (a) I don't think there is a right to fly on a commercial plane, so the fact that none exists probably isn't relevant to a lawsuit, and (b) there are in fact charter planes and such that would allow it (if you could afford to charter one).
Old 10-07-05, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
ACLU is wrong. Southwest is a private company, they can let people on however they want.

IIRC, something similar happened on an episode of "Airline." In that case, the person just turned the shirt inside-out and was good to go.
But doesn't the FAA have jurisdiction over their "private" laws? The airline has a right to take people off due to being a danger to the rest of the passengers. I fail to see how wearing a shirt is a danger to the passengers.

If only she was wearing that shirt in Virginia or South Carolina:

They wouldn't be able read the damn T-shirt.
Old 10-07-05, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Geofferson
I can imagine a mother being offended if a guy sitting next to her 8-year-old son was reading an issue of Hustler.
Okay, that's a good point.
Old 10-07-05, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
Okay, that's a good point.

then why do they sell porn in airports?
Old 10-07-05, 06:45 PM
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Beth Harbin, Southwest Airlines: "Basically, we just do whatever the passengers tell us to do. Because you know, if they get aggressive, it could mean disaster when taking off if the passengers are rioting and yelling and screaming and not getting their way."

DVD P: "Good point. You've just described a bunch of 2-yr olds without their mothers. Sooooo, why not throw them off the plane too. Then."

Beth (chewing gum more strongly): "What does that say on your shirt?"

DVD P: "It says if there's something offensive to you, I will gladly take off my clothes. Well, I better be going."

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