When T-Shirts Go Bad

Christ, you’d think Qantas would have more sense.

Allen Jasson, a 55-year-old IT specialist, was turned away from a Qantas flight from Melbourne to London after refusing to remove the shirt, which carries an image of Bush and the words “World’s Number One Terrorist”.

Jasson said the airline had denied him freedom of speech and he was taking legal advice on challenging its policy and recovering costs involved in missing his flight.

“To be fair to Qantas, they have said I can take another flight if I don’t wear the t-shirt but I am not prepared to go without the t-shirt,” he said.

“I might forfeit the fare (about 2,000 US dollars) but I have made up my mind that I would rather stand up for the principle of free speech.”

A Qantas spokesman said: “Whether made verbally or on a T-shirt, comments with the potential to offend other customers or threaten the security of a Qantas group aircraft will not be tolerated”.

5 thoughts on “When T-Shirts Go Bad

  1. This is the umpteenth story of this type I’ve read in the past few years. And while yes, it’s infringement on free speech and all that (even though Australia and the UK don’t have a First Amendment), I’m going to say what nobody else seems to have said: Why are these folks wearing provocative t’s in the first place? I mean, isn’t steadfastly refusing to change your stupid little t-shirt a bit like joking about bombs? Why aren’t people just dressing neutrally when they take international flights? Why invite this kind of abuse?? Whatever happened to just-plain common sense?

  2. If I were to fork over $2000 for something I would demand a lot of flexibility in how I could dress. Qantas’ comment about things with the potential to offend other passengers is utter nonsense. There are lots of people who would be offended by a “in God we Trust” comment, or a “God bless George Bush” comment, or a “I love America” comment, etc. People have an infinite capacity to be offended.
    As far as threatening the safety of an aircraft is concerned, if Qantas’ airplanes are so fragile that a tee shirt message on a passenger threatens their safety, Qantas needs to replace their fleet of aircraft.
    Of course, people who wear provocative messages on tee shirts should expect others to react, but airlines are not in business to guarantee that no passenger will find a reason to be offended by another passenger.

  3. quite ridiculus as most likely only leftists or Fux watchers would care. shit, i wore a HITLER T to GERMANFEST and no one noticed.(i made it myself, also has charlie chaplin as the dictator, the king from wizard of id and ron raygun-a fascist, a funnyman, a fink and a fool, 3 styles of prints are available!)

  4. I think this falls under the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” rule – no private enterprise is required to tolerate your speech, and they’re probably right that the shirt could cause problems. What happens when the redneck in 8F doesn’t want to sit next to Mr. Terrorist T-shirt, but the redneck hasn’t bathed in days, so no one wants to switch seats with Mr. Terrorist T-shirt? You have to be reasonable when putting yourself in a cramped space with a bunch of fellow cranky humans – this is not the time or place to be deliberately provocative, especially when it can affect so many innocent bystanders who just want to get this horrid flight over already.
    (But I do not think that the t-shirt is equivalent to praying aloud, which may be deliberately provocative but probably isn’t.)

  5. >…or threaten the security of a Qantas group aircraft will not be tolerated
    Um, how is wearing a t-shirt threatening the security of the aircraft?
    I am quite positive that Bush is unpopular with a majority of Australians and a majority of Britons, so that t-shirt is not stating an unpopular opinion, unless only Tony Blair’s and John Howard’s opinions count.

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