Was Delta Right to Kick ASU Student Off a Plane for His Shirt Mocking the TSA?

Categories: Morning Poll
See also: ASU Student Says He Was Kicked Off Delta Flight Over Shirt Mocking TSA

A Delta plane, similar to the one Arijit Guha was not sitting in on Saturday.
Yesterday, we told you about Arijit Guha, the Arizona State University Ph.D. student who says his shirt mocking the Transportation Security Administration led to him and his wife getting kicked off his flight returning to Phoenix over the weekend.

Guha told New Times it was a Delta pilot's decision -- not the TSA's -- to keep them off the flight from Buffalo, New York.

While waiting at the gate, Guha says, one of the airline's supervisors told him his shirt made employees and passengers "uncomfortable."

The shirt logo makes a play on the TSA's logo, with the eagle holding untied shoes and pouring out a bottle of liquid. Around the seal, it says, "Bombs ZOMG/ZOMG terrists," and "Gonna kill us all ZOMG ZOMG alert level bloodred run run take off your shoes moisture." ("ZOMG" means "Oh my God".)

Guha says he was told by the Delta supervisor that he'd have to deal with another security check, and he'd also have to change his shirt. Guha agreed, but after jumping through all the hoops, he says the pilot decided to make the final call -- Guha and his wife were not getting on that plane. (You can read his detailed explanation of events on his blog.)

Guha says racism appeared to play a role, since the "uncomfortable" passengers seemed to have more say in the situation than he did.

"It's because I'm not white," Guha said. "I don't like to just assume racism in all cases...but the fact is that we'd taken the shirt out of play, but people still felt uncomfortable with my very presence on the flight. What else can it be?"

Delta didn't deny the claim that one of its pilots decided Guha was a no-go on the flight, but did deny the claim that discrimination was a factor.

In your opinion, was Delta right to kick him off the plane?

Cast your vote below:

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@TravelNewsPR Free Speech Should Not Be Allowed In America.It Confuses People Who Are Used To Losing All Their Other Freedoms.


Mr Arijit will be going to the bank after this law suit. Just wrong!

 Simply amazing to me, just how pre occupied many of us are to things of such irrelevance......

Flyer9753 topcommenter

This guy did nothing wrong, Delta and the TSA did.


People who were or might have been offended or worried about this need to a) lighten up, terrorists don't wear T-Shirts advertising what they are doing or drawing attention to themselves and b) your 'paranoia' or personal dislike of something is not basis to restrict someone elses free speech, just like you would not let yours be restricted

david_saint01 topcommenter

I dont give two shits if it offends anyone. The price of freedom is having to deal with things you may not like. So which would you rather have? 


I'm unclear why this is even a poll. The TSA, as a government agency, clearly violated his First Amendment rights by preventing his boarding in exchange for protected speech. And though Delta is a private company, it is a "common carrier" which means it is governed by a web of laws and regulations that give it far less leeway than most other types of businesses to deny paying customers. Long story short, there is a pretty good lawsuit waiting here, and in this case, it will be well deserved.


@phoenixnewtimes I read that guy's post about it on Reddit yesterday. Had no idea he was an ASU student!


The guy is a PhD student, he is obviously not stupid.  He chose to wear that shirt to get a reaction out of people and when the reaction was negative he plays the race card.  He invited the problem by his choice of clothing.  If he went business casual no one would have bothered him on the plane.


I live with a white man who only flies while wearing that t-shirt. I've been on multiple Delta flights with him. He has never once been questioned by Delta about the shirt. My experience makes me wonder whether the t-shirt is the main issue here, or if there were other factors involved (*cough* looks foreign *cough*) that made Delta decide to inconvenience this guy tremendously.



 Re-read the article - nowhere does it say that the TSA did anything other than clear him through security to the gate.  Nowhere does it say that the TSA held him up or preventing him from moving through security.  In fact, all the action was by Delta employees at the gate so he clearly made it through TSA operated security.

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