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Old May 6, 04, 7:08 pm   #1
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WN Pilot Kicks Passenger Off For Wearing A T-Shirt Critical Of George Bush

A WN pilot kicked a passenger off of a flight because he was offended by a passenger's t-shirt which criticized George Bush.

I just saw this on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Olbermann interviewed the passenger. Passaenger wore a black t-shirt that said "Good Bush" on one side showing a woman and "Bad Bush" on the other showing a picture of GWB. The passenger said he wore the t-shirt under another shirt and it was almost completely obsucured from view. The passenger says that the crew asked him to button the top button on his outer shirt and he complied. Olbermann says that he talked to WN and their spokesman agreed that the passenger was cooperative.

So why was he kicked off the plane? Because he then asked how he could go about filing a complaint against the pilot. Again, WN agrees [according to Olbermann and WN's spokesman] that the passenger was calm and accommodating. The spokesman couldn't answer why the request for a complaint form triggered the ejection.

At the end of the segment Olbermann asked the passenger what his political persuasion was considering that this an election year and the subject of the t-shirt. The passenger as it turns out is a life-long republican who just thought that the t-shirt was funny.

Pretty sad, even considering how isolated and/or anecdotal this incident may be.

No on-line link yet. I will update when I find one.

Edited to add that this post here in this forum is not meant as any kind of partisan political statement but rather as an example of a pilot's authority run amok. The point in fact is that the political persuasion of the subject of the t-shirt in question is, or at least should have been, irrelevant.

Last edited by anrkitec; May 6, 04 at 9:58 pm.
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Old May 6, 04, 9:09 pm   #2
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One side fits all

Knowing how reporters, let alone TV producers, love to slant things to get the audience excited, I seriously doubt that this is the entire story.
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Old May 6, 04, 10:01 pm   #3
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Originally Posted by nsx
Knowing how reporters, let alone TV producers, love to slant things to get the audience excited, I seriously doubt that this is the entire story.
As always, this could be the case but I don't know. WN seems to have agreed to all of the facts of the matter. We will see...perhaps.
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Old May 8, 04, 12:22 pm   #4
 
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I myself got the "please button your shirt" plea on a southwest flight.

I think it was PDX to ALQ and I was wearing a concert shirt from the band f*ck, only on the shirt it is not obsured. I buttoned up, and that was that.
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Old May 10, 04, 4:16 pm   #5
 
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I saw this too...

...and I've been scouring the web since then trying in vain to find an article or something about this. I just can't believe this wasn't a bigger deal in the media. If it's true that the pilot made an unscheduled landing just to kick off a compliant passenger whose t-shirt he didn't like just because the guy asked how to go about making a complaint, that is absolutely insane to me. How totally inappropriate and overreactive of the pilot. This totally blows my mind, I just can't believe no reporters have followed up on this.

Anyway, if anyone has a link to a related article, please post it!
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Old May 10, 04, 7:10 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by nemesmith
...I just can't believe no reporters have followed up on this.
I'm sure if it was true, they would have. Maybe it was on the radio, but maybe no one can find supporting evidence. Anyone have a link, please post it, so we can find out what, if anything, really did happen.

JP
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Old May 10, 04, 10:22 pm   #7
 
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A link with picture of shirt....

Here is a link that include's a picture:

http://pub38.bravenet.com/forum/3223949364/show/286680

The picture is a tad risque if you ask me and I could understand the part about covering it up, but that's it.

Update: Link is not working now but was last night. See 2 posts below for picture and interview

Last edited by rmc1; May 11, 04 at 8:03 am.
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Old May 10, 04, 11:22 pm   #8
 
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Are you sure?

That link takes me to an empty discussion forum???
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Old May 11, 04, 7:29 am   #9
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Originally Posted by j379pa
I'm sure if it was true, they would have. Maybe it was on the radio, but maybe no one can find supporting evidence. Anyone have a link, please post it, so we can find out what, if anything, really did happen.

JP
So many true believers...

T-Shirt Link

This is a link to the actual t-shirt the passenger was wearing and which Olbermann had on his show. You will note that the "woman" is clothed and wearing a bikini. Offensive:Not.

MSNBC

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
OLBERMANN: Rather than tease out one of our typical long-winded introductions to tonight‘s No. 1 story, we‘ll going to give you a warning. The topic matter, even in the careful way we intend to present it, might be offensive to you or confusing to any kids who might be watching with it. It might just be weird.
It pertains to a T-shirt that somewhat graphically portrays a play on words you could make using the president‘s last name and what an airline did to a passenger who wore the T-shirt on one of their flights.
That did not happen to Mr. Scott Zacky. He only got thrown off his flight. Going from Oakland to L.A. with his wife, Mr. Zacky went casual, wearing a T-shirt under a button-=down shirt, only the top three buttons of which were undone. As he board the Southwest Airlines jet, a flight attendant told him he would have to cover up that T-shirt completely, that it was—quote—“offensive.”
He did so without making a scene. The airline doesn‘t even dispute that. But then he asked them how he could file a complaint. That‘s when they threw him and his wife off the plane. Stand by for the T-shirt.
Now, you‘ll notice we altered this just slightly. You‘ll probably get the idea anyway. If you don‘t, whatever you do, don‘t ask mom or dad to explain it to you.
The owner of the shirt, Scott Zacky, joins us now from Los Angeles.
Good evening, sir.
SCOTT ZACKY, THROWN OFF FLIGHT FOR T-SHIRT: Good evening.
OLBERMANN: So did you get thrown off that plane because you were wearing that T-shirt or because you asked the flight attendant how to file a complaint?
ZACKY: I think that‘s still unclear to us. The shirt was completely covered, so I believe it had to been I was going to complain.
OLBERMANN: We called Southwest obviously to get their side of the story. And their spokesman said: “One of our pilots took offense to his T-shirt and asked that he be removed from the flight. He,” meaning you, “was accommodated on the very next flight.”
Did the pilot—do we know, did the pilot dislike the politics or did the pilot dislike the woman in the illustration?
ZACKY: You know, it‘s unclear. I wish the pilot was more concerned with piloting the aircraft and the safety of the crew.
It‘s remarkable to me that this is—that he‘s capable of this and removing us from the plane. Obviously, he had made up his mind. And I like the choice of words, accommodated on the next flight. I don‘t know how—I made a reservation, not an accommodation.
OLBERMANN: They put you on next flight and nobody said anything about it; everybody was fine with you wearing that shirt under this other shirt on this next flight?
ZACKY: Didn‘t have to change an outfit, went right on the next flight. It was incredible. It seemed confusing even to the ground crew in Oakland. I have to say, they were even perplexed.
OLBERMANN: I keep thinking as we‘re looking at this T-shirt—and let me say what it says without—we show it—now drop it, so I can just say what it says. Just drop the illustration for a second, guys. It says, “Good Bush, Bad Bush.”
I keep thinking of the TV ad that used to run with the woman who opens a beer with her belt buckle and the bottle foams over. And the announcer says, “Get yourself a Busch.” I guess the pun is OK in advertising that can be seen by millions of people, but not in public on a flight that contained, what, 100, 200 people?
ZACKY: Or under another shirt. I mean, thank God they didn‘t go through my luggage. I had bought T-shirts on this trip, this being the least of the provocative ones.
OLBERMANN: I guess I‘ll just leave that alone. Maybe the guy had—maybe they have better X-rays at the airports than we know about.
Are you going to sue?
ZACKY: Well, going back to that word, I‘m going to accommodate them, with counsel if possible.
(LAUGHTER)
ZACKY: I think it was way too extreme, and they‘re getting carried away. And for one pilot to be able to remove somebody for something that offended him or her is going way too far. And I think that I will probably pursue at least what my options are.
OLBERMANN: On the premise of what? Do you feel you were damaged or are you just trying to protect the Constitution or what?
(CROSSTALK)
ZACKY: Well, we were embarrassed and humiliated. It was uncalled for. I completely cooperated and complied. You know, when you think of somebody being thrown off an airplane, for people to hear you were thrown off an airplane or asked to get off an airplane, it sends the wrong signal.
And this was something that my wife and I were both thrown off. And it was embarrassing and humiliating. I think I want maybe Southwest and other airlines to draw a more defined line as to what they can remove somebody from a plane for or not.
OLBERMANN: Last question, political vetting, we have to ask. Everything that concerns with politics, you‘ve got to ask political vetting. Can you tell us what your politics are?
ZACKY: Republican, surprisingly enough.
(CROSSTALK)
ZACKY: I bought this...
(CROSSTALK)
OLBERMANN: Why did you have the T-shirt?
ZACKY: I bought the shirt because I thought it was funny. You know, I don‘t draw political lines when it comes to humor. I think it was a funny shirt. The place that I got it had a lot of funny shirts. And I don‘t think it‘s—I think, especially up in San Francisco—I bought it in Haight Ashbury. I think that‘s one of the free speech capitals. And it was an incredible experience.
OLBERMANN: Yes, indeed. Scott Zacky, thanks for sharing that experience with us and good luck as you pursue this further.
ZACKY: Thank you. Thank you very much, Keith.
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Old May 11, 04, 9:42 am   #10
 
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I do not undertstand why a bigger deal isn't made out of this.
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Old May 11, 04, 10:00 am   #11
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Originally Posted by Droneklax
I do not undertstand why a bigger deal isn't made out of this.
"We are the Neo-Cons. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Your liberal, non-Christianist distinctiveness will be added to [meaning removed from] the collective. Resistance is futile."

Last edited by anrkitec; May 11, 04 at 10:04 am.
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Old May 11, 04, 10:25 am   #12
 
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I love Southwest Airlines, but I am appalled by this story. That t-shirt was hardly offensive, and it was covered up as requested by the flight attendant. (Assuming all the above facts and statements are indeed accurate.)

I hope Mr Zacky wins some cash from the airline for this. And I hope the pilot is disciplined.
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Old May 11, 04, 10:34 am   #13
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Hypersensitivity

Perhaps he should hire the lawyer that handled the "eenie meenie miney moe" case.

It seems that more and more people these days assume that if someone treats you badly it must be due to racism, and now we can add political affiliation. As if there were no such thing as bad hair days and just plain ornery people.

Edited for formatting typo.
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Old May 11, 04, 12:16 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsx
Perhaps he should hire the lawyer that handled the "eenie meenie miney moe" case.

It seems that more and more people these days assume that if someone treats you badly it must be due to racism, and now we can add political affiliation. As if there were no such thing as bad hair days and just plain ornery people.

Edited for formatting typo.
If the roles were reversed, I would agree completely. However, in the eenie-meenie-miney-moe case, it was the passenger who complained about a non-issue and then sued.

In this case, the pilot (captain?) complained about a non-issue by tossing the passenger off his flight. The pilot probably can't be sued, but Southwest can be sued, and should be sued by the victim of this out-of-control pilot's aggression, and in turn Southwest should fire the pilot. No one needs someone with such poor judgment at the controls of a 137 seat airplane.

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Old May 11, 04, 12:20 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by anrkitec
ZACKY: Well, going back to that word, I?m going to accommodate them, with counsel if possible.
i dunno if this justifies a lawsuit, but that sure was a funny reply
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