A passenger on board American Airlines flight 2829 from New York JFK to Phoenix was called out by flight attendants over their political sweatshirt. The sweatshirt apparently said “Palestine.” It also appeared to define Palestine… more broadly than Gaza, the West Bank, and parts of East Jerusalem.
The airline is now being called “rascit” (sic) because they made the passenger turn their sweatshirt inside out in order to fly “jus bc it said Palestine.”
My younger cousin called me extremely emotional as he was told to take off his Palestine shirt or he’d be removed by authorities from his flight, SHAME on you @AmericanAir . pic.twitter.com/C8mQbgEfmw
— s (@katchmeifyakan) November 29, 2023
The passenger says that they were given the choice to “remove [the] sweater” “flip it inside out” or “be removed by law enforcement” They say they complied because they didn’t “know[… their] rights” Crew expressed concern over how other passengers feel about the clothes, while the passenger asked, “what about my feelings.” They were told that it isn’t permitted since it’s political.
From the photo of the passenger’s boarding pass, I see that they were a basic economy passenger. Basic economy doesn’t include wearing political attire. That costs extra.
Personally I’d love to see politics-free flights, since this seems to be the level of discourse we get.
Last night the Oakland City Council voted on a resolution to call for a ceasefire.
A city council member tried to insert language condemning Hamas.
This was the reaction… pic.twitter.com/r7aTb2mkrQ
— Yashar Ali (@yashar) November 28, 2023
Most of the messaging on the Mideast is way too simplistic. You want a two state solution? Great. What would you suggest that Ehud Olmert’s 2008 proposal, which the Palestinians rejected, did not include? Are there people willing to make peace? The position of Hamas, and even more militant factions of Fatah, have not been willing to accept anything that preserves Israel as an independent state. And years of terrorist attacks launched from what would be that state make it harder and harder for Israel to give up territory. At the same time, it’s not clear what destroying Hamas will even accomplish, because what rises up in its place?
Meanwhile, American’s policy on passenger attire says “Dress appropriately; bare feet or offensive clothing aren’t allowed.” They want a policy so they can enforce it in egregious cases. American really doesn’t have consistent standards on this so each employee uses their judgment, which varies. Is the sweatshirt offensive? For a departure from New York, maybe? I wouldn’t have made an issue of it.
I find that most gate agents and flight attendants are doing their best, given lack of clarity, and just want a peaceful flight and to head off any hassles. People from all sorts of backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences come together inside of metal tubes – and employees bring their own biases to bear – and sometimes those collide.