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Couple kicked off Miami-New York flight because of T-shirt
Palm Beach Post ^ | 8/1/04 | AP

Posted on 08/01/2004 1:16:56 PM PDT by wagglebee

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.

"It's a picture of a man and woman, and the woman's breast is showing," Tow said. "The flight attendant basically walked up to us and yelled, 'You have to take off that shirt right now.'"

American spokesman Tim Wagner said Sunday that crew members acted properly.

"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."

Tow said four Miami-Dade police officers and three federal security agents escorted her and Arela off the flight. She said the T-shirt image was reproduced from a Venezuelan record label.

Wagner said the couple could legally be barred from the flight even though they committed no crime. The airline gave them a refund. He did not know if they booked another flight.

"I'd like to figure out how a T-shirt that offends one member of the crew somehow impacts the safety of the flight or the ability of the flight to continue to New York," said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. "If they want to permit this kind of action by flight attendants, then they better have a clear policy that is announced in advance and made known to passengers in advance."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airlines; obscenity; tshirts
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1 posted on 08/01/2004 1:16:59 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee
"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."

Well they could almost make that argument. American Airlines is practically a government agency considering how much funding it gets from taxpayers.

2 posted on 08/01/2004 1:21:05 PM PDT by Oblongata
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To: wagglebee
"It's a picture of a man and woman, and the woman's breast is showing," Tow said. "The flight attendant basically walked up to us and yelled, 'You have to take off that shirt right now.'"

And here I was expecting something related to the war on terror.

Pretty tacky shirt if you ask me, and prettly low class insist on wearing it out in public, but if she takes off the shirt 'right now', it wouldn't exactly end the exposure of bare breasts.

3 posted on 08/01/2004 1:22:25 PM PDT by Grig
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To: wagglebee

Sounds like a real classy couple there. Oh, and they left an "O" out of his wifes name. ;-)


4 posted on 08/01/2004 1:24:17 PM PDT by Normal4me
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To: wagglebee
Oscar Arela and his girlfriend, Tala Tow will, perhaps, be paid a vist by some representatives of the other passengers.

Well, one can always hope. ;)

5 posted on 08/01/2004 1:24:17 PM PDT by G.Mason (A war mongering, red white and blue, military industrial complex, Al Qaeda incinerating American.)
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To: Grig

Whatta coupla boobs!

(Can I say that?)


6 posted on 08/01/2004 1:24:57 PM PDT by Shaddap IV
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To: wagglebee

I was on a Southwest flight last month with Mrs. B, and there was a tattooed guy with a shirt that had the F-word prominently (I don't recall the full message except that it was a hostile tone.) As we were toward the end of the boarding line, one of the few seats left was next to this creep. I whispered to Mrs. B as we approached down the aisle to go past him.

Thanks SWA!


7 posted on 08/01/2004 1:25:09 PM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Your Friendly Freeper Patent Attorney)
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To: wagglebee

Some people are too stupid to ride a bus, much less an airplane.


8 posted on 08/01/2004 1:25:11 PM PDT by dwilli
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To: Grig
The guy was wearing the shirt, not the woman.
9 posted on 08/01/2004 1:25:17 PM PDT by Major Matt Mason (The U.S. Senate- where our freedoms go to die.)
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To: wagglebee
"If they want to permit this kind of action by flight attendants, then they better have a clear policy that is announced in advance and made known to passengers in advance."

Well, perhaps they are not used to having people who are so dumb they don't know what is proper attire. It's their airline, they don't have to fly you if they don't want to.

10 posted on 08/01/2004 1:28:10 PM PDT by McGavin999 (If Kerry can't deal with the "Republican Attack Machine" how is he going to deal with Al Qaeda)
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To: Grig
after he refused to change the shirt or turn it inside out at Miami International Airport.

That clear it up for you?

11 posted on 08/01/2004 1:28:43 PM PDT by G.Mason (A war mongering, red white and blue, military industrial complex, Al Qaeda incinerating American.)
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To: wagglebee

Bare breasts, even in a picture, are the devil!


12 posted on 08/01/2004 1:29:33 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (Hillary was in charge of the FBI files, which went into a data base: WHoDB. Genious hackers, expose)
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To: Grig
but if she takes off the shirt 'right now', it wouldn't exactly end the exposure of bare breasts.

she >>> he

13 posted on 08/01/2004 1:32:14 PM PDT by cinFLA
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To: wagglebee

There's a nip in the air.


14 posted on 08/01/2004 1:32:45 PM PDT by kcar (www.TheUNsucks.com)
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To: wagglebee
This country has gone down the toilet in terms of class and etiquette. When I flew back in the 1960s from the East Coast to Denver, going to college, we wore coats and ties.

Today, people come on wearing sleeveless shirts, raising their arms exposing armpit hair, a lot in need of a shower, shave and deodorant; playing their dopey rap music, and thumping other passenger's seats. Few have any respect for others' space in public transportation. I don't fly anymore. I'll take the Beemer, set it on cruise, and play Mozart, Rachmoninov, or Lizst.

15 posted on 08/01/2004 1:33:55 PM PDT by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: Shaddap IV
"Whatta coupla boobs! (Can I say that?)"

Bust in the mouth coming!!!

16 posted on 08/01/2004 1:40:04 PM PDT by Dacus943
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To: wagglebee

"I'd like to figure out how a T-shirt that offends one member of the crew somehow impacts the safety of the flight or the ability of the flight to continue to New York," said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. "If they want to permit this kind of action by flight attendants, then they better have a clear policy that is announced in advance and made known to passengers in advance."
________________________________________________________

The Airline is afterall responsible for assuring their employees do not have to work in a harrassing environment?


17 posted on 08/01/2004 1:42:20 PM PDT by JLS
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To: Cobra64

I've seen so called "classy" people run thru the airport with barely a stitch of clothing on. I suggest next time they go on vacation she wear something skimpy instead of pictures depicting skimpy.


18 posted on 08/01/2004 1:46:01 PM PDT by Dallas59
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To: wagglebee

Had the offending T-shirt been worn by someone who "fit the profile" the couple would have had clear passage.

I'd put money on it.


19 posted on 08/01/2004 1:46:54 PM PDT by Fizzie
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To: Grig
"but if she takes off the shirt 'right now', it wouldn't exactly end the exposure of bare breasts."

SHE? You didn't read the first sentence too close, did you?

"was ejected from an American Airlines flight because the MAN was wearing a T-shirt depicting a bare breast."
20 posted on 08/01/2004 1:47:36 PM PDT by Max Combined
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To: Normal4me

"left an "O" out of his wifes name"

Girlfriend, not wife.


21 posted on 08/01/2004 1:49:22 PM PDT by Max Combined
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Cobra64

Most people dress like slobs when they travel these days. I guess they think that "comfortable" and "presentable" are mutually exclusive.


23 posted on 08/01/2004 1:50:46 PM PDT by clintonh8r (Vietnam veteran against Jean-France Kerry.)
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To: wagglebee

Heck, if a private company doesn't want you wearing a blue shirt on their property, then that should be their right.


24 posted on 08/01/2004 1:51:02 PM PDT by Guillermo (Nobody ever sells a good horse)
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To: RealPiedPiper

their airplane. their rules. people that attempt to apply the first amendment to situations like this fail to understand the first amendment.


25 posted on 08/01/2004 1:52:25 PM PDT by smonk
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To: wagglebee
File it under: "Moral-liberals without a clue."

The airline should reflect back the Me-ocratic dictum and claim: "Anything not expressly forbidden is allowed, including giving flight crews the discretionary right of determining what is proper and allowed and what is not."

26 posted on 08/01/2004 1:55:21 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: wagglebee
"It's a picture of a man and woman, and the woman's breast is showing," Tow said. "The flight attendant basically walked up to us and yelled, 'You have to take off that shirt right now.'"

Yeah, I'll bet it happned just like that.

27 posted on 08/01/2004 1:55:57 PM PDT by BradyLS (DO NOT FEED THE BEARS!)
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To: smonk
their airplane. their rules. people that attempt to apply the first amendment to situations like this fail to understand the first amendment. Well said. It's funny how people believe that speech has no consequences. The scenario that I use as an example is a doctor who takes an ad out in the newspaper saying everyone in the town where his practice is located is an idiot. He has the right to do this, but the consequences would be bankruptcy.
28 posted on 08/01/2004 2:01:53 PM PDT by SALChamps03
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: wagglebee
"If they want to permit this kind of action by flight attendants, then they better have a clear policy that is announced in advance and made known to passengers in advance."

AIRLINE GUIDANCE TO ALL PASSENGERS: DON'T BE A DUMBA$$!

That is all...

30 posted on 08/01/2004 2:05:39 PM PDT by bondjamesbond (We live in a wonderful country where any child can grow up to be the next Ronald Reagan.)
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To: Cobra64

err.. actually, it's better NOT to wear a suit on an aircraft unless you're a business traveller -- it would be easier to maneouvre in the event of an aircrash or something


31 posted on 08/01/2004 2:07:47 PM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: smonk
their airplane. their rules. people that attempt to apply the first amendment to situations like this fail to understand the first amendment.

Well, yes. It is the ACLU, after all.

32 posted on 08/01/2004 2:08:50 PM PDT by atomicpossum (If there are two Americas, John Edwards isn't qualified to lead either of them.)
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To: Max Combined; cinFLA; Major Matt Mason; Grig

However, if the guy looked like Michael Moore then there WOULD be bare breasts exposed.....


33 posted on 08/01/2004 2:09:52 PM PDT by Cronos (W2K4!)
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To: NurdlyPeon

*snicker*


34 posted on 08/01/2004 2:09:56 PM PDT by Dallas59
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To: wagglebee

Unless in a real hurry...road triping is sounding more and more enjoyable not to mention practical. No security, can take what you want 'causse you MIGHT need it...can take the dog, can take your time, do not have to put up with beligerent passengers who have no class and no taste and...can see the good ole USA up close and personal!! Sounds good to me.


35 posted on 08/01/2004 2:13:15 PM PDT by cubreporter (-I trust Rush...he will prevail in spite of the naysayers.)
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To: wagglebee
"If they want to permit this kind of action by flight attendants, then they better have a clear policy that is announced in advance and made known to passengers in advance."

In the future, all passengers will be required to sign a 52 page form stating the airline's policy regarding refusal of service. This policy will state, in clear English, on Page 24, Section 11043.b.II Subparagraph i, "All representations of female breasts, whether actual or reproduced, including but not limited to depictions of unclothed flesh within .25 inches (8.5 mm) of the area of coloration surrounding the... (etc...)

And if the passenger doesn't read it all, that his problem!

36 posted on 08/01/2004 2:14:55 PM PDT by bondjamesbond (We live in a wonderful country where any child can grow up to be the next Ronald Reagan.)
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To: wagglebee

37 posted on 08/01/2004 2:18:09 PM PDT by P.O.E. ("Higher Taxes, er, um, I mean, Hope Is On The Way!")
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To: JLS

Yep, lawsuits about this issue have been made employer responsibilities pretty clear. Freedom from being offended trumps free speech.


38 posted on 08/01/2004 2:23:26 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: RealPiedPiper
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.

The First Amendment was designed to protect political and religious speech, thought and action. But as far as vulgarity goes, you should be on your own and assume the risk in the community you're in. I never bought the idea that topless dancers are beacons of free speech.

39 posted on 08/01/2004 2:27:13 PM PDT by Che Chihuahua (John Kerry--Communist Threat or Red Menace?)
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To: cubreporter
"Sounds good to me."

And to me.

Since I'm not having to go overseas anymore, that's the only way I travel, and I enjoy it, which is something I can't say for airline travel.

40 posted on 08/01/2004 2:28:22 PM PDT by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: JLS

Isn't it nice when two liberal principles collide:)


41 posted on 08/01/2004 2:29:10 PM PDT by not_apathetic_anymore
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To: wagglebee

""""""I'd like to figure out how a T-shirt that offends one member of the crew somehow impacts the safety of the flight or the ability of the flight to continue to New York," said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. "If they want to permit this kind of action by flight attendants, then they better have a clear policy that is announced in advance and made known to passengers in advance.""""""""



ANSWER:
The same way, one atheist can get you TO file suit against religious displays.


42 posted on 08/01/2004 2:29:39 PM PDT by rock58seg (iDiOT + iDiOT = DemOcraTS..Just connecting the DOTS.)
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To: wagglebee
said Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. "If they want to permit this kind of action by flight attendants, then they better have a clear policy that is announced in advance and made known to passengers in advance."

Fair enough. How about "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason."?

43 posted on 08/01/2004 2:30:40 PM PDT by TigersEye (They hang traitors don't they?)
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To: wagglebee

I doubt that the flight attendant just walked up and yelled at them. These rude, inconsiderate people's rights stop where other people's rights begin. Particularly when children would be subjected to such garbage.


44 posted on 08/01/2004 2:31:08 PM PDT by skr (Flight suit or bunny suit as leader of the Free World--not a difficult choice really)
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To: Grig
Pretty tacky shirt if you ask me, and prettly low class insist on wearing it out in public, but if she takes off the shirt 'right now', it wouldn't exactly end the exposure of bare breasts.

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.

45 posted on 08/01/2004 2:36:28 PM PDT by Netizen (Abortion is not a choice -- it's murder. The only 'choice' is which method of birth control to use.)
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To: Che Chihuahua
"I never bought the idea that topless dancers are beacons of free speech."

No, because topless dancers, streakers, exhibitions of gay affection, open advertisement of porn, etc., impact other people's lives.
We all MUST be allowed to do as we please with our bodies and our property as long as there is no detrimental effect on anyone else.

I don't know why there is so much confusion about that concept.

46 posted on 08/01/2004 2:38:23 PM PDT by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: P.O.E.
Maybe it was one of these
47 posted on 08/01/2004 2:39:05 PM PDT by WKB (3! ~ Psa. 12 8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.")
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To: Dacus943
Bust in the mouth coming!!!

You're gonna milk it for all it's worth, aren't ya?

48 posted on 08/01/2004 2:41:27 PM PDT by tbpiper (Michael Moore…..the Erich von Däniken of political documentary)
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To: wagglebee
A shirt like that might be acceptable attire at a Costa Rican beach bar, but AA had every right to insist that the passenger not wear it aboard the flight. Obviously, the passenger felt that displaying a picture of nudity was more important than taking the connecting flight.

That's a weird decision on his part, but he made it.

49 posted on 08/01/2004 2:43:18 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: wagglebee
And I say,

GOOD! For American Airlines!

Wha a low-life that guy is. Dispicable.

50 posted on 08/01/2004 2:47:29 PM PDT by the Deejay
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