Huffpost Travel

Woman Kept Off American Airlines Plane For Allegedly Offensive Shirt

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An unidentified woman claims that she missed her American Airlines flight because staff found her choice of clothing offensive, according to the blog RH Reality Check.

That's because it bore the statement: "If I wanted the government in my womb, I'd f--k a senator." The slogan first appeared on a sign at a rally in Oklahoma in February. Oklahoma Sen. Judy McIntyre (D) famously posed with the sign, telling The Huffington Post, "I saw a sea of signs that caught my eye, but this one in particular -- I loved its offensive language, because it's just as offensive for Republicans of Oklahoma to do what they're doing as it relates to women's bodies. I don't apologize for it."

The woman, identified only as "O," was heading from Washington DC. She told RH Reality Check, "When I boarded the plane, I was one of the first groups to board (did not pass by many folks). I was wearing my shawl just loosely around my neck and upon sitting down in my seat the lady next to me, who was already seated, praised me for wearing the shirt." Yet she says she was approached by a flight attendant who told her that she needed to speak with the captain before making her connecting flight because the shirt was "offensive." The captain informed her that she shouldn't have been allowed to board in the first place, and would need to change before boarding her connection.

According to the woman, this interaction caused her to miss her connection. And, she asserts that the staff on her flight called ahead to the connecting gate to tell agents there that "O" needed to change her shirt, but not to hold the flight. "O" claims that her luggage was checked and "changing shirts without spending money wasn't an option."

American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith told MSNBC: "The only reason she was asked to cover up her T-shirt was the appearance of the 'F-word' on the T-shirt. The [pro-choice] message is irrelevant to our policy..."

It's stated in the airline's conditions of carriage, available on its website, that "American may refuse to transport you, or may remove you from your flight at any point, for one or several reasons." That includes if you "are clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offense to other passengers."

This isn't the first time a passenger's clothing has caused such a stir. Last year a college football player was arrested after trying to board a U.S. Airways flight wearing sagging pants. Similarly, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off a Southwest flight last year for having pants that hung too low.

On the other hand, a man clad in women's lingerie was allowed to fly U.S. Air last year.

The t-shirt in question is available through the site CrockTees.com.