Cartoon T-Shirt delays British Airways passenger

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Principessa

    Gold Member

    Nov 22, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Gun T-shirt 'was a security risk'

    A man wearing a T-shirt depicting a cartoon character holding a gun was stopped from boarding a flight by the security at Heathrow's Terminal 5.

    Brad Jayakody, from Bayswater, central London, said he was "stumped" at the objection to his Transformers T-shirt.

    Mr Jayakody said he had to change before boarding as security officers objected to the gun, held by the cartoon character.

    Airport operator BAA said it was investigating the incident.
    Mr Jayakody said the incident happened a few weeks ago, when he was challenged by an official during a pre-flight security check.
    "I was just looking for someone with a bit of common sense"
    Brad Jayakody
    "He says, 'we won't be able to let you through because your T-shirt has got a gun on it'," Mr Jayakody said.

    "I was like, 'What are you talking about?'.

    "[The official's] supervisor comes over and goes 'sorry we can't let you through and you've a gun on your T-shirt'," he said.

    Mr Jayakody said he had to strip and change his T-shirt there before he was allowed to board his flight.

    "I was just looking for someone with a bit of common sense," he said.
    "It's a cartoon robot - what threat is it to security or offensive to anyone at all?"

    A BAA spokesman said there was no record of the incident and no "formal complaint" had been made.

    "If a T-shirt had a rude word or a bomb on it, for example, a passenger may be asked to remove it," he said.

    "We are investigating what happened to see if it came under this category.
    "If it's offensive, we don't want other passengers upset."

    I didn't see the movie, but isn't that a Transformer on his t-shirt? It's a toy, it's not real! :rolleyes: :duh: I think BAA needs to hire some new security agents and toss out these hypersensitive idiots.
  2. Pendlum

    Verified Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Transformers being offensive.. what is the world coming to? D: Optimus Prime would be ashamed.
  3. Elmer Gantry

    Gold Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Melbourne (VIC, AU)
    Good to see our skyways are being protected from those terrorist scum.:rolleyes:
  4. dong20

    Gold Member

    Feb 17, 2006
    Likes Received:
    The grey country
    Many of BAA security staff are indeed morons, but in their defence they're trained and managed by morons. OK, so that's a sweeping generalisation, but when I think of BAA senior management, the image that comes to mind isn't one of innovation, and efficiency but incompetence and avarice.

    Sadly, the passenger was pretty accurate in describing security staff as drones. Were they ever faced with a real security situation I'd wager most would freeze or maybe wet themselves - assuming they even recognised it.

    From yesterday's London Metro (free paper):

    "My mate set off the alarms and was searched. But then the guy told me to stop and said 'you cannot get on the plane because there is a gun on your T-shirt'" he said.

    Mr Jayakody, from Bayswater, West London was then threatened with arrest after he asked to see the security chief.

    He said: "It's a cartoon robot with a gun as an arm. What was I going to do, use the shirt to pretend I have a gun?

    "I was flabbergasted. I thought the supervisor would come over and see sense, but he didn't. After I changed he said if I changed back I would be arrested."

    "I've done what they've said. No point in arguing with the drones.

    "The supervisor comes over and is now a dick to me, telling me if I put the shirt on I'll be arrested.

    "I then told him that I wasn't going to waste time arguing with him and he wasn't worth the effort and didn't have any power to change anything anyway."

    To play devil's advocate for a moment; in view of the last couple of paragraphs - we don't know if the passenger was offensive or hostile when questioned about the shirt or after changing ... and he's hardly likely to volunteer that.

    Still, aviation is a grubby business, and I doubt BAA are exceptional. For example:

    "In 2006 a human rights activist was prevented from boarding a plane in New York, for while wearing a T-shirt that read, "We will not be silent," in English and Arabic."

    I 'wonder' which language caused the 'offence'.

    While such incidents are surreal from a common sense perspective, they're unsurprising given the sort of people commonly employed to do these jobs. A capacity for critical thinking is clearly considered optional in a role where it should be mandatory. Again, I'm generalising, but in my experience in dealing with airport security (which is not insignificant) it's not an entirely unjustified one.
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