Man wearing anti-TSA shirt not allowed to fly out of Buffalo
blog by S.J. Velasquez • August 23, 2012 @ 8:24am
That clever anti-TSA shirt you like wearing to the airport—it can get you booted from a flight.
The PhD student at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, Arijit Guha, blogged about his TSA woes after having worn a snarky shirt to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport this past weekend. He was in town for a funeral and was scheduled to fly back to Arizona with his wife on Saturday, but his t-shirt caught the attention of TSA agents, airport employees, a Delta pilot and—apparently—would-be fellow passengers.
The shirt in question features a mock TSA logo with the words “Bombs ZOMG/ZOMG terrists” and “Gonna kill us all ZOMG ZOMG alert level bloodred run run take off your shoes moisture” circling the image of an eagle.
According to Guha’s blog, he was first questioned about the shirt after making employees and passengers uncomfortable, he explained. He was then questioned by TSA employees about the shirt’s meaning, and a Delta supervisor explained that he’d need to change his shirt and undergo additional searches of his and his wife’s belongings. Later, the Delta employee returned with more TSA agents and NFTA transit police for additional questioning. After what he believed was a satisfactory explanation of his wardrobe decision, he was told that the pilot had denied Guha and his wife permission to board the plane.
Guha, who turned to Twitter to express his complaints, believes racism is at the root of the situation. (Personal note: while I believe racism does exist, I understand that stupid clothing decisions also exist.)
The Phoenix New Times picked up Guha’s story and reached out to Delta for comment. A Delta representative wrote via email:
Safety and security will always be our first priority and most fundamental obligation. Delta doesn’t discriminate or condone discrimination of any kind against our employees or customers.