questionsdid you hear about the guy whose woot shirt got…


OK. I totally agree that the guy should be allowed to wear that shirt when he flies. And his rights were totally violated. ... That being said that doesnt mean it was wise of him to wear a shirt mocking the very security that he would be going through. Seems a bit like he was trying to make a statement by wearing that shirt ....


It's absurd to say he was asking for anything. The clothing that you're wearing should have no bearing on your security status, and I honestly don't care if that means you're wearing the most foreign of clothes (a t-shirt is very much not that, but that's irrelevant). And let's be real, the guy's name is Arijit -- do you really think it was just his shirt?


That's messed up. I'm flying delta next week...maybe I better start thinking about my wardrobe.

Oh, wait. I'm white and pasty, and my wife took my name. I'll be fine...unless they ask about my relatives in Michigan...


Wow. All I can say is I hope he sues someone over that fiasco.


Pretty silly in my opinion. It was passengers fears of his skin color and nothing more. They just used the shirt to make a big deal of it. He was cleared to fly and deemed not a threat. This is just utterly ridiculous. It's a shame, and it's too bad it had to happen. And, people wonder why I refuse to fly? I don't think I could stand half the security checks they do. I've seen the stories where they give pat downs to little kids....really, a five year old is a security threat?


@lotsofgoats: agreed I am not claiming he was asking for it. I am just saying he could have chosen a better theater for his protest ...

That being said again I think he was totally within his rights but that doesnt mean I think he should be so shocked he was persecuted for wearing a shirt that says basically I hate the TSA security complex and then be suprised when they responded to it


The TSA has an actual job to do, and that is not making sure that brown people refrain from making white people uncomfortable.


Have you ever looked at the terms and conditions you agree to when you purchase a plane ticket?

Here's a link to Delta's Contract of Carriage:

Click on Domestic General Rules - It's 51 pages long!


And here is the exact section that is relevant to this guy:

Delta may refuse to transport any passenger, or may remove any passenger from its aircraft, when refusal to transport or removal of the passenger is reasonably necessary in Delta’s sole discretion for the passenger’s comfort or safety, for the comfort or safety of other passengers or Delta employees, or for the prevention of damage to the property of Delta or its passengers or employees. By way of example, and without limitation, (continued below)


Delta may refuse to transport or may remove passengers from its aircraft in any of the following situations:

1) When the passenger’s conduct is disorderly, abusive or violent.
2) When the passenger is barefoot.
3) When the passenger appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
4) When the passenger attempts to interfere with any member of the flight crew in the pursuit of
his or her duties, or fails to obey the instruction of any member of the flight crew.
5) When the passenger has a contagious disease that may be transmissible to other passengers during the normal course of the flight;
6) When the passenger has a malodorous condition;
7) When the passenger is unable to sit in a seat with the seatbelt fastened;
8) When the passenger requires an onboard stretcher kit;
9) When the passenger’s behavior may be hazardous to himself/herself, the crew, or other passengers;
(continued below)


10) When the passenger is seriously ill, and fails to provide a physician's written permission to fly.
11) When the passenger is traveling in an incubator.
12) When the passenger’s conduct creates an unreasonable risk of offense or annoyance to
other passengers.

13) When the passenger’s conduct creates a risk of harm or damage to the carrier’s aircraft
and/or property, or the property of other passengers.


So, basically, any time you fly, Delta can determine (in its sole discretion!) that you might annoy or bother other people, for whatever BS reason that they decide at that moment, and they are within their rights to deny you your flight.

I'm sure that you will find similar language in every other airlines' contracts of carriage as well.

We should all be grateful that we are ever allowed to fly at all.


@90mcg112: He cites the case of Cohen vs. California, which reasonably defines what he did as speech and not conduct.


I totally agree with this guy in principal. But knowing how the system works, he's inviting trouble by wearing a shirt that mocks security. It's not right, but that's how it is, unfortunately.


Rule 35, Refusal to Transport does not give the pilot the ability to deny boarding to a passenger. so, where does the pilot get that authority? maybe the FAA?


In related news, can we get the Threat Level shirt again? :D


@lotsofgoats: Private companies are not subject to the First Amendment, so I would not think that citing a case defining speech v. conduct for the purposes of construing 1stA claims would be successful for him. But, it's a worth a shot. Honestly, there is not going to be much that he can do. Keep this in mind when you fly. They make the rules, they own the planes, be nice, be courteous, even when they are clearly wrong. It's not worth the hassle. Changing things requires more than an isolated act of disobedience that will end up with you missing your flight and possibly in TSA lockup.


The easiest thing to remmeber is that the TSA and the airlines have no sense of humor. Yes, you have a right to make a statement or a joke but is the airport really the place to make it? All you'll do is cause trouble for yourself and inconvenience others. I hate the TSA and airline policies as much as anyone but traveling is already enough of a hassle, so why make it worse with something like a t-shirt that can even be remotely be perceived as provocational? It's not worth it.


If this does turn into a media firestorm though I fully expect woot to do a reprint ...


@lotsofgoats @djbowman: I work for an airline. But I'd buy one. :)


@elforman: "The easiest thing to remember is that the TSA and the airlines have no common sense."

there...fixed that first sentence for you.


I think everyone should boycott flying!!

That sure would make my security check a lot faster and I'll be able to get better seats.


Amusing shirt, situation less so.


1) The whole situation should never have happened. It's a T-Shirt. I might argue about the bad judgement wearing anything with the word BOMB on it in an airport but at the end of the day this particular shirt was most definitely on the silly end of the spectrum.

2) The guy himself made things worse with his attitude.I don't care if you are right or wrong, when you are in a situation like that your attitude is going to make or break the issue. In this case, his attitude took an already bad situation and made it much, much worse.

3) I was right there with the guy on his side until about halfway through his blog when he went totally over the top and made himself sound every bit as bad as the people he was slamming, just that he is on the other end of the spectrum.


I can sort of understand the shirt causing people to feel uncomfortable (reminding them of terrorist attacks when they're about to get on a plane) but how many terrorists do you think would bring this to mind? I can even sort of accept the fact that he had to go through some additional security, although the specifics disappoint me in terms of how the transit authorities operate. The thing that really gets me though is the fact that he got booted off the plane after what appears to be a thorough amount of questioning. Not only does it speak to the pilot's fear of having uncomfortable passengers, but also to the faith that people have in the authorities to identify possible threats. I'm sure that if any one of them had to go through what Mr. Arijit did, they'd be furious at how people didn't trust them enough after going through numerous security checks and questioning.


Sorry, but white and pasty does not give you a pass. My husband is also white and pasty, flies every week (sometimes multiple flights), has logged over a million miles with one airline while still having an elevated status with another, has a non-threatening name, and still gets extra screening the majority of times. It is almost a joke with us because if I am accompanying him on a flight, I will sail through security (with my lesser status) and end up waiting for him because they have pulled him aside for extra screening.


Uhhh, Woot did specifically say..

"Don’t wear this shirt to: an airport security checkpoint, or anywhere near a secure federal installation."

He should have known better!


@bingo969: The guy seems to be going through a lot in his life. Stage IV colon cancer and he just had to come from the funeral of his wife's grandfather, which, if not emotionally taxing for him, it was for his wife. Combine that with the fact that he's basically been branded as a terrorist and is being pretty much treated like one, I don't think you'd be nearly as nice, cooperative, and graceful under all that stress. I don't think it's necessarily fair for you to critique somebody's experience, as words can only go so far in illustrating what he had to go through.

As for your third point, I completely disagree. Having been through so much discrimination, fear, and basically hate, he seemed to keep a pretty level head. He didn't say he hated all white people, or anything like that at all. He placed the blame for this incident where it rested: on Delta and the NFTA. If people were so hostile to you, would you be able to say the same thing? My educated guess says no, but I maybe wrong.


Pulled directly from the woot page:

Wear this shirt to: reassure your fellow citizens with a message of anxiety and suspicion.

Don’t wear this shirt to: an airport security checkpoint, or anywhere near a secure federal installation.

This shirt tells the world: “In paranoia we trust.”

He clearly didn't read that...


@lynnaux: The fact that we have the notion of a "threatening name" in this country is ridiculous.


@sgrman05: too bad he got it as a gift; didn't get a chance to read the shirt.woot write-up...


@bingo969: I looks to me like you too have fallen into the trap of confusing what he has written after the fact with how he behaved at the scene. It is the behavior that counts, and the airline behaved pretty cravenly by asking their customer to submit to one more round of hoop jumping with appropriate groveling, then still denying them seats. He expressed his frustration in the moment, guess that makes him human.

I agree that his attitude, as demonstrated by wearing that shirt, makes the overreaction not a big surprise; explaining an irony will never make it funnier. It is sad sad sad that we don't expect authorities to have some common sense and/or a sense of humor, but they don't always.

A big reason I never bought the shirt is my own weakness. I'd eventually give in to the unwise urge to wear it to the airport.


@carl669: They do have common sense, but they're too busy and too stressed to have the luxury of taking the time to think things through. Sure, someone could have looked a bit more closely at the shirt and said it was not a problem, but what about the next TSA agent or airline employee who sees it? The people working at the airport aren't the ones who make the rules, they just enforce them, and it's not their job to take the time to read someone's shirt and decide whether it's incindiary or not.


First thought: The TSA went completely off the wall. Again.
Second thought: The TSA went completely off the wall, as did Delta. Again.
Third though: Despite being correct, this probably was not the shirt of choice to be wearing on an airline flight. He was perfectly within his rights (as I view them to do so) but waving a red flad (or red shirt in this case) in front of a bunch of TSA types was not a great idea. [Note: in order not to offend I reworded that last sentance 3 times. Sometimes one must alter behavior in order to accomplish things]. My sister in Las Vegas is able to grow catnip in her backyard. She gave a bunch to me. I buried it in my checked bag, vice taking it in my carry on. I would have been completely within my rights to do so, but I didn't want to have to spend 3 hours in a locked room as the TSA decides that my catnip isn't a controlled narcotic.


Third though: Has Cory Doctorow heard about this?


@fishphotogal: In regards to "have fallen into the trap of confusing what he has written after the fact with how he behaved" - in this case that's all I really have to go on.

There are few snippets of things where he's written "I said xxxx" or things that he has put in quotation marks which I take to mean are direct, actual dialogue. All I can do then is take those few bits and put it together alongside his blog and use that to decide for myself how he would have acted and use that to map out the series of events as he describes them.

That being said, I agree with you and said as much in my other post. The airline behaved badly No doubt about it. However, I also still stand by my original guess that his reaction to it blew the matter up much further. Was his reaction justified? Possibly.

When in a situation like that, I firmly believe the best course of action is to be apologetic and contrite. Regardless of whether or not you are in the right.


@captainsuperdawg: I fully admit, it would be hard for me to imagine being in his shoes. That is a lot to have on ones plate.


@wilfbrim: One quick thing: TSA didn't really do anything wrong. They cleared him after asking about the shirt's meaning and arrived at the same conclusion as him, that it was a mockery of the fear so many people experienced and saw no harm in letting him wear it. Then, on the second screening (the one where he was taken off the plane), they were completely satisfied with a search of his and his wife's belongings. While more invasive than they should be, those were the only things done by TSA, and Arijit seemed to be fine with that, if a little perturbed. The real injustices came from the NFTA. They were the ones that brought him in for the extensive questioning and had a dog search his things. If you read the last paragraph, Arijit even plainly said that the TSA agent who had questioned him was polite and sensible about the whole thing and that the problem was with Delta and the NFTA. It's understandable though, as TSA isn't generally known for being full of calm, rational people.


Now they are blasting the guy in the media like he did something wrong!


@crowsnest: Is a shame that MSN is on Delta side. If you read the header they call the guy idiot and outraged when TSA detains him. First of all, who's MNS to call someone an idiot?? second, as far I read on his blog, he was never detained by the TSA, they just questioning him. You can see Delta using their PR machine to throw the guy under the bus.


@tapatiousa: Exactly what I was thinking! And what about them using that photo of the shirt? If you know what your looking for you can clearly tell it is a W00T shirt from the tag.......


So if I flew Delta I might have a problem wearing this shirt?


@lotsofgoats: I agree, but added that his name is ":non-threatening" in response to people pointing out that the person in this story had a name that might have triggered "profiling".


Not surprising. I accompanied my girlfriend and her grandfather,who is wheelchair bound to the airport once. He was the only one getting on the airplane,but we went through security with him to help him board. I was pulled out of the line for a so called random security check,even though I was not even getting on the plane! I'm a white guy,but I have long hair and a beard. So it was really just pick on the hippie day. In my best Nazi voice I said to them "Do you have your papers and Your papers are not in order" They didn't think it was very funny,but had to let me go after they frisked me liberally.


@bluetuba: When I was reading the blog, I was thinking....Didn't the original writeup joke about not wearing the shirt to the airport?
That I can remember.
Can't remember where my car keys are.


I am so sick of the ignorant scum that have over populated this country. Problem is, those same ignorant a-holes are the ones who believe everything they are told, especially when it's on tv and in a political commercial approved by the candidate. The only thing that could make those lies any more truthful is if they were broadcast by fox.

I'm totally against the right for every person regardless of reason or need to carry a concealed weapon. But I'm starting to think that maybe it's not such a bad idea. The caveat being they can only be used against racist ignorant bigots. The good news for many is that would only account for about 40% of our population.

But in all seriousness, guns & violence are not the solution to ignorance. EDUCATION is!!!!! So, instead of giving huge tax breaks to people whose income is in the millions or more, let's get back to the Reagan era tax rates, where the highest tax bracket was 50%. And earmark every dollar of that to education!


Ah, grasshopper!
You need to step back and see the whole picture.
If I have an overbooked flight, and boot you from the plane because of a stuffed shirt, some skirt, or some flirt, I might have to pay you.
If I have an overbooked flight, and boot you from the plane because of your shirt, your skirt or your flirt, then I can just screw you.
It's just business, bug. A little self induced self righteousness goes a long way, also.