Left: Allen Jasson, photo courtesy of TheAge.com.au
(Melbourne, Australia) An airline passenger, who was removed from a flight for wearing a T-shirt describing President Bush as a terrorist, has threatened legal action against Australian airline Qantas.
Allen Jasson said that he was turned away last Friday at a Qantas departure gate in Melbourne when he tried to board a London-bound flight while wearing a shirt with the picture of Bush and the slogan "World's #1 terrorist."
Virgin Blue airline had previously barred Jasson on a connecting flight to Adelaide, but on a return flight to Melbourne with Qantas on Friday, he successfully wore the shirt.
Jasson said that he had already cleared international security checks when he approached the gate manager, thanking him for Qantas allowing him to wear the shirt and asking for an apology for his earlier treatment.
"I concede that I raised the issue, but I wanted primarily to thank Qantas for relenting when (the gate manager) told me: 'I'm surprised you got this far, the staff should have stopped you'," he said.
Jasson said he was merely exercising his right to express "a popular political" view.
"It's game on, Qantas. They are going to fly me home wearing this T-shirt," he said. "I have made up my mind that I would rather stand up for the principle of free speech."
A Qantas spokesman said that "whether made verbally or on a T-shirt, comments with the potential to offend other customers or threaten the security of a Qantas...aircraft will not be tolerated."