American Airlines has apologised to passenger Swati Runi Goyal after she was forced to change her T-shirt, which read “Hail Satan”, by the cabin crew. As the 49-year-old told BuzzFeed, they found her outfit “offensive” and threatened to kick her off the plane from Florida to Nevada in October. Fearing that they would follow through on their threat, she reportedly covered the attire of discord with one of her husband’s shirts.
"We initially just thought it was a joke. But he repeated the directive, and there was another female crew member who was behind him with her arms crossed looking very angry”, she recalled.
According to the report, despite the controversial caption, the T-shirt was in support of the Satanic Temple - a nontheistic religious organisation describing itself as working for the separation of church and state, free speech, and religious freedom. Goyal, who describes herself as an atheist and vegan on her Twitter profile, is a member of the group and bought the merchandise to support it.
"It’s an ironic shirt. People usually laugh at it, or they give me a thumbs up because they understand the meaning behind it", the woman explained to the outlet.
According to Goyal, she felt "humiliated” and filed a complaint to the company. However, in response, they reportedly sent her an explanation about the airline’s policies on “offensive clothing”.
"Our flight attendants have a responsibility to all passengers in our care, and we must sometimes make difficult decisions associated with the application of our policies", it stated.
"Discrimination has no place at American Airlines”, the company tweeted, also responding to BuzzFeed: “We apologize to Ms. Goyal for her experience, and we are reaching out to her to understand what occurred”.