Speakeasy forum

General discussion

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

by C1ay / August 1, 2004 9:00 PM PDT

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.


But, the first amendment prohibits Congress from infringing the right of free speech, not American Airlines or anyone else serving the public. What do you think?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Couple kicked off Miami-New York flight because of T-shirt
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Couple kicked off Miami-New York flight because of T-shirt
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
(NT) (NT) Seems reasonable to me
by Evie / August 1, 2004 10:46 PM PDT
Collapse -
Airline on A&E
by Angeline Booher / August 1, 2004 11:39 PM PDT

I'm with AA Airlines on this, aside from the T-shirt issue.

I enjoy watching "Airline" on A&E (Monday nights). Those employees show remarkable patience, and make every effort to help. (The airline featured is Southwest.) The article said that the man was told to change his shirt, or to turn it wrong-side out. Was that too much to ask?

The airlines are charged with the safety of their passengers. They can refuse boarding to someone who is drunk, or who has been acting in a harassing manner /cursing employees. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the T-shirt man objected in an unsavory manner.

Regardless, the government regulates the airlines, but they do not own them.

The dozens of other passengers may or may not have found the shirt offensive. But,IMO, that was not the point. The airline did. We all have seen t-shirts that have stuff we prefer not to read or see. Free speech? I don't think so. I can think of no free speech issues re: that shirt, only one of "Look at me!" Otherwise, the airlines could not refuse boarding to those who are abusive or threatening to employees or fellow travelers.

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

Collapse -
Re: Airline on A&E
by John Robie / August 2, 2004 7:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Airline on A&E

I also watch Airline on A&E because I normally travel Southwest. Another that shows a series about the problems of running Briton's largest airport comes on quite often on the Discovery Wings channel.

I have to go with AA on this T-Shirt incident:

"The description I heard was a picture of a graphic of a naked man and woman performing 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."

Collapse -
(NT) (NT) Yep, thought I read it already.....:-)
by John Robie / August 2, 2004 7:16 AM PDT
Collapse -
I'm with AA on this one
by Josh K / August 2, 2004 6:43 AM PDT

This isn't a free expression issue. Restaurants and stores are allowed to have dress codes. Airlines are no different.

There was a little newsstand/grocery in a town I used to live in that made an effort to establish entry policies, but their sign wasn't written very well. It read:

No shirt
No shoes
No dogs
No service

I asked whether it would be OK to come in even though I didn't have a dog with me, but they didn't catch on.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

Does BMW or Volvo do it best?

Pint-size luxury and funky style

Shopping for a new car this weekend? See how the BMW X2 stacks up against the Volvo XC40 in our side-by-side comparison.