Thu, Aug 23, 2012
Pilot Said The Shirt's Anti-TSA Message Made Other Passengers 'Uncomfortable'
A man and his wife returning from the woman's grandfather's funeral on August 18th were removed from a Delta Airlines flight because airline agents said the anti-TSA message on the man's t-shirt made other passengers "uncomfortable," even after he agreed to remove it.
The couple had cleared security at Buffalo-Niagara airport when they were approached by Delta gate agents. Arijit Guha, who according to his blog profile lives in Phoenix, was wearing a t-shirt that had a TSA logo and a message he described on his blog as satirical of "the agency's paranoid and overbearing approach to airport security."
The website Alex Jones Inforwars reports that Guha said he was questioned by TSA about the meaning of the shirt, and they seemed to be satisfied. "They clearly deemed my shirt to be no legitimate threat," he wrote.
Guha and his wife were told that they could board the flight if they submitted to another search of their belongings and if he removed the shirt. He agreed, but as they were boarding the flight, they were again pulled aside by a Delta representative, three TSA agents, and "multiple" Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority transit police. He said they were extensively questioned about their travel habits and the reason for their visit. He says that despite numerous security screenings and background checks, the pilot eventually determined that their presence on the flight would disturb other passengers.
After being denied boarding, Guha said they were subjected to even more rigorous questioning. He said the transit police demanded to know where his brother lived, as he had originally purchased the shirt as a gift. He also stated that the transit police officer who conducted the extra interrogation said he did so because "he looks foreign." He was also told that he had been singled out because he refused the "naked body scan."
The couple was eventually booked on an early morning flight the next day, but left to find their own accommodations for the night.
Guha wrote that in his opinion, the episode happened because of "the paranoid minds of my fellow passengers who misconstrued a shirt mocking the overwrought security process as a terrorist threat.”
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