A man waiting to board a Southwest plane at Phoenix Sky Harbor Thursday night was booted from the flight for his vulgar t-shirt. But he thinks his punishment was politically motivated.
The T-shirt Kevin (he declined to share his last name) was wearing said “F*** Trump."
“I mean there was another guy who just had a middle finger on his shirt but they didn't say nothing to him,” Kevin told ABC15 on Friday.
Kevin thinks the problem wasn't the bad word, but rather the target of that aggressive language.
“What's really the problem? Are you a Trump fan or something? I mean, is Southwest for Trump?” Kevin inquired rhetorically.
He said he was wearing his F-Trump shirt and waiting for the Southwest flight when a gate agent came to him and asked that he change - or at least turn the shirt inside out.
“So I told her, ‘Okay, I'll turn the shirt inside out before the flight leaves,’” said Kevin.
Five minutes later, he said two police officers arrived and told him the flight was now canceled for him. Southwest was refusing him service.
The airline told us it had nothing to do with Trump. Southwest sent ABC15 the following statement:
“Southwest Airlines does not have a Customer dress code. We only address situations where Customers or Employees believe an item of clothing might be overtly offensive to fellow members of the traveling public, including the many families with children who fly with us. In this situation, the Customer was wearing a shirt with a word that is widely considered offensive emblazoned upon the front. As a result, we requested the Customer cover or change his shirt. Once the conversation escalated, the Customer was denied boarding on his original flight, and rebooked on a later flight. The Customer elected to cancel his reservation. As always, we take the comfort and safety of the over 100 million Customers who fly us each year very seriously.”
Kevin confirms he did receive a full refund for the flight, but still thinks he was treated unfairly.
“She didn't have to call officers like I was a problem, like I was disturbing the peace or I did something rude or cussed her out or anything like that,” said Kevin.
Airlines do have the right to refuse service to anyone they think might cause a disturbance or safety concern on a flight.