Wed, Jul 06, 2011
iPhone Photo Gets Professional Photographer Escorted Off A US
A professional photographer was escorted off a US Airways
flight last week after she snapped a picture of a gate agent's name
badge with her iPhone. The agent subsequently convinced the captain
of the aircraft the photog was a "security risk."
Sandy DeWitt and her husband were traveling from Philadelphia
home to Miami last Friday when the incident occurred. According the
the photography blog Pixiq, DeWitt said the agent, who's name is
Tonialla G., had been rude to several passengers boarding the
flight. She says she snapped the photo with her phone because she
intended to file a complaint.
Unfortunately, the picture was too dark to see the name tag. But
that didn't stop the agent from coming on the plane, confronting
DeWitt, and demanding that the picture be deleted from the phone.
DeWitt complied, according to an interview with Photography is Not
A Crime, in which she said she would not have done so had the
photo been usable. Since it was of no use to her, she deleted
But that didn't stop the apparently disgruntled gate agent from
complaining to the pilot that DeWitt was a security risk. She and
her husband were subsequently escorted off the plane. As she was
being removed, she announced loudly that she was being taken off
the flight because she had snapped the photograph.
A US Airways manager at Philadelphia backed up the employee,
saying DeWitt could not re-board because she "was a security risk."
But Supervisor Michael Lofton was perfectly willing to direct her
to a Miami flight on American Airlines. Unfortunately, that flight
had already departed.
Eventually, the DeWitts got as far as Fort Lauderdale on
Southwest, where they had to call a friend at 0115 on Saturday and
ask for a ride to Miami International where their car was
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