Was Delta Right to Kick ASU Student Off a Plane for His Shirt Mocking the TSA?
Yesterday, we told you about Arijit Guha, the Arizona State University Ph.D. student who says his shirt mocking the Transportation Security Administration led to him and his wife getting kicked off his flight returning to Phoenix over the weekend.
Guha told New Times it was a Delta pilot's decision -- not the TSA's -- to keep them off the flight from Buffalo, New York.
While waiting at the gate, Guha says, one of the airline's supervisors told him his shirt made employees and passengers "uncomfortable."
The shirt logo makes a play on the TSA's logo, with the eagle holding untied shoes and pouring out a bottle of liquid. Around the seal, it says, "Bombs ZOMG/ZOMG terrists," and "Gonna kill us all ZOMG ZOMG alert level bloodred run run take off your shoes moisture." ("ZOMG" means "Oh my God".)
Guha says he was told by the Delta supervisor that he'd have to deal with another security check, and he'd also have to change his shirt. Guha agreed, but after jumping through all the hoops, he says the pilot decided to make the final call -- Guha and his wife were not getting on that plane. (You can read his detailed explanation of events on his blog.)
Guha says racism appeared to play a role, since the "uncomfortable" passengers seemed to have more say in the situation than he did.
"It's because I'm not white," Guha said. "I don't like to just assume racism in all cases...but the fact is that we'd taken the shirt out of play, but people still felt uncomfortable with my very presence on the flight. What else can it be?"
Delta didn't deny the claim that one of its pilots decided Guha was a no-go on the flight, but did deny the claim that discrimination was a factor.
In your opinion, was Delta right to kick him off the plane?
Cast your vote below:
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.