CANBERRA, Australia — An airline passenger barred from a flight for wearing a T-shirt labeling President Bush a terrorist has threatened legal action against Australia’s flag carrier Qantas.
Don't miss these Travel stories
Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors
With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.
- Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
- Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
- MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
- Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year
- Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors
Allen Jasson, 55, an Australian IT expert who lives in Britain, was stopped from boarding a London-bound Qantas flight at Melbourne Airport last Friday for wearing what the airline said was an offensive T-shirt.
Airline staff said the T-shirt of Bush with the tagline “World’s number 1 terrorist” could have upset other passengers and demanded it be changed for another.
But Jasson, who had earlier traveled on a Qantas domestic flight wearing the Bush T-shirt, said his right to freedom of speech had been infringed by Qantas.
“I am not prepared to go without the T-shirt. I might forfeit the fare, but I have made up my mind that I would rather stand up for the principle of free speech,” Jasson told Australian media on Monday, adding he would seek legal advice.
Qantas issued a statement saying comments made verbally or on a T-shirt which had the potential to offend other travelers or threaten the security of aircraft “will not be tolerated.”
Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.