(Russia Today) While trying to board a flight out of Buffalo, New York recently, a PhD student at Arizona State found out the hard way that being on a no-fly list isn’t the only way to attract the attention of the TSA — wearing a funny shirt will do the trick, too.
In a post published to his personal blog on Tuesday, a 31-year old doctoral candidate named Arijit recounts the horrors he experienced while attempting to fly from Buffalo-Niagara International Airport to Phoenix over the weekend after attending a funeral. In around 3,000 words he goes into great detail about being booted from a domestic flight, getting stuck renting a car and scrounging for overnight accommodations — something he argues most likely wouldn’t have happened if authorities didn’t make such a big fuss over his t-shirt.
The article of clothing that caused such a concern was a red t-shirt that featured a mock-up of the US Department of Homeland Security’s seal, surrounded with phrases such as “Bombs ZOMG,” “ZOMG Terrorists” and “Alert level bloodred — run, run take off your shoes.”
Arijit says he made it through the Transportation Security Administration’s standard screening routine without incident and that he was only questioned after arriving at his departure gate. There, he says, a supervisor from Delta Airlines started inquiring about the clothing, and soon after Arijit was quickly interrogated by others. He writes that he was then surrounded by agents with both the TSA and a crew from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, the law enforcement agency that patrols Western New York’s mass transit system.
“I politely explained that it was ‘mocking the security theater charade and over-reactions to terrorism by the general public,’” Arijit writes. A supervisor for Delta Airlines, however, argued that it had made numerous passengers and employees “very uncomfortable.”
After being vigorously screened and questioned multiple times, Arijit says he was finally given permission, once more, to board his plane. The pilot of the aircraft, however, had had enough of the whole ordeal and asked the Delta supervisor to relay the message that, due to the discomfort the shirt had caused, neither Arijit nor his wife would be allowed to board the aircraft.