.c The Associated Press
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A woman was booted off a Southwest Airlines flight for
wearing a T-shirt that bore an expletive and images of President Bush, Vice
President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Lorrie Heasley of Woodland, Wash., said she plans to press a civil-rights
complaint against the airline over Tuesday's action at Reno-Tahoe International
Airport, halfway through Heasley's scheduled trip from Los Angeles to Portland,
``I have cousins in Iraq and other relatives going to war,'' Heasley told the
Reno Gazette-Journal. ``Here we are trying to free another country and I have
to get off an airplane ... over a T-shirt. That's not freedom.''
Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Marilee McInnis said several passengers
complained about the shirt.
Heasley, a 32-year-old lumber saleswoman, said passengers began complaining
after she and her husband, Ron, moved to the front of the cabin in Reno.
She agreed to cover the words with a sweatshirt, but when the sweatshirt
slipped while she was trying to sleep, she was ordered to wear her T-shirt
inside-out or leave.
She and her husband left. They arrived home in a rental car Wednesday
McInnis said Southwest rules allow the airline to deny boarding to any
passenger whose clothing is ``lewd, obscene or patently offensive.''
But Allen Lichtenstein, lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union in Las
Vegas, said it ``might be problematic'' that the airline ``changed rules in
the middle of a flight.''
Heasley said she has been in touch with ACLU lawyers in Seattle, and wants
Southwest to reimburse her for the last leg of the trip.
UGH! SouthWest just recently started flying in Fort Myers-- looks like I'll be avoiding it like the plague