Southwest Airlines Threatens Passenger With Joe Biden Sign

A Southwest Airlines passenger was told she couldn’t display her “Arizonenses Con Biden” sign if she wanted to fly because, the Biden supporter said an agent told her, “many customers are offended by your sign.” She either had to cover the sign “with white paper and tape or to fold it to put underneath her seat.”

On Friday, Jenny Grondahl flew from Phoenix to San Diego, carrying a souvenir: a cardboard sign she wanted to frame when she got home to Southern California. It read with a cactus and was made by an artist named Javier Torres.

It marked an accomplishment for the labor organizer — outreach to Latinos in Arizona to vote for Joe Biden for president in 2020. Grondahl serves on the executive board of Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), representing workers in California and Arizona. She also volunteered for the Biden campaign, and a friend had given her the sign for the hours she worked.

“I worked very hard to register Latino voters. … And Latinos showed up, Arizona went blue,” she said, explaining why it meant so much to her.

She folded the sign and placed it under her seat. She challenged the agent though, with, ‘what would happen if this were on my shirt? And, she says, the agent told her she’d have to wear the shirt inside out.

According to Southwest Airlines,

We pride ourselves on providing a welcoming, comfortable, and safe environment for all Customers and Employees regardless of political beliefs. We’re in conversations with the Customer to address her concerns and we hope to welcome her back on a future Southwest flight.

Shortly after the 2016 Presidential election, a Unied Airlines pilot announced passengers had to keep politics off of the plane. We’ve seen what happens when a flight turns into an election fight.

Once you’re on the aircraft with doors closed, there’s nowhere to run. Fellow passengers can’t opt out of politics, so we all have an obligation to keep tempers down and be polite for the duration of the flight.

Since nearly all U.S. airports are government-owned, I’m not sure they can totally ban political speech like that. But airlines leasing the space can probably enforce this sort of rule.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I dunno, the woman’s sign seems pretty innocuous. Unless she was waving it around like some crazed fan at a football game, who cares. It’s certainly no worse than wearing a MAGA hat. Any snowflakes who might have been offended by the woman quietly possessing a sign that has no threats, hatred, or foul language need to learn to adult better. I’m disappointed that Southwest chose their course of action. It certainly doesn’t sound very welcoming to me.

  2. Can we then keep red hats off the plane? I’m offended by the assholes who wear them.

  3. I was traveling with an AA strike sign but could not bring it aboard. The gate agent agreed to let me bring it aboard when I offered to cover it up by putting a t-shirt over it. The t-shirt fit over it well without too much slack nor stretching. I kept it for awhile until I moved and didn’t have enough room in the U-haul.

  4. If she really wanted to keep it, she fought the wrong fight. Make it about the space and not the content. I have on separate occasions brought framed art and a small marble slab (end-table top) and tilted it to sit on the floor between the last row in Y and the back (bulkhead?) wall in front of the lav. Sometimes it’s about the theater.

  5. Michael it’s okay to come out of your parent’s basement, the bad men in red hats won’t hurt you.

  6. Forget the politics for a moment. If I was unfortunate enough to sit beside her I just can’t see how she could have it without encroaching on my space, unless she folded it or put it under the seat.

    If somebody’s hat (MAGA, Biden or whatever) is enough to cause you such irritation then they have won. I remember when people accepted there were two parties, and you could disagree without such polarization, Of course then such displays were more limited to election season – not all the time. These days people see pretty much half the country as either stupid, racist, or whatever.

  7. What ever happened to accommodating passengers? Since Southwest has no assigned seating, why could they not just move the left wingers to the left side of the plane and the right wingers to the right side of the plane? As for the sign, it looks foldable by the creases on it and looks a bit large to go unfolded into the overhead, so I suspect this whole incident was just a publicity stunt by this attention seeking Jenny.

  8. Fair is only fair. Conservatives get deplatformed by big corporations, so should libs

  9. She obviously did this for attention. If she was sincere about taking it home to frame it, any person carrying something which is thought to be valuable enough to frame would have not left it uncovered to protect it. Sounds like another look at me moment, regardless of your political affiliation.

  10. Southwest is an AMERICA’s Airline, with their Texas roots they know what’s up.
    That’s why I fly them!

  11. Can we keep all liberal Biden and Burnie a-holes off planes. Makes for a better world!

  12. Someone always feels the needs to provoke others. Just shut up and sit in your seat for the flight. Not difficult

  13. SWA patriot/pilot friend told me that SWA’s pilot lounge TV’s are tuned exclusively to Fox.
    Good to know they don’t buy into the fake news world!
    SWA flies only in America and doesn’t do International, that should tell you something.
    Fly SWA!

  14. maga hats are an acceptable alternative to ‘vomit bags’ or toilet paper- Additionally- they are useful for wrapping soiled diapers. The last time I was scared of a coward in a maga hat was never..

  15. So in other words
    She just got done registering illegals
    and proud of it

    Left wing nut job should have had her sign used as TP

  16. @EricT

    Southwest flies to Mexico, Costa Rica, Aruba, Jamaica, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and used to fly to Cuba. You don’t know what you are talking about, fake news flamer!

  17. Actually JohnB you are right they have a very small international presence , thanks to AirTran.
    However they are the largest and are primarily a domestic carrier.
    Not fake news, just an observation.

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