American Airlines apologizes for making woman change ‘Hail Satan’ shirt
American Airlines has issued an apology to a woman after flight attendants made her remove her “Hail Satan” shirt in order to remain on the plane.
Swati Runi Goyal of Key West was aboard an American Airlines flight from Florida to Nevada in October when a crew member made her change her shirt or get kicked off the plane, according to BuzzFeed News.
“It’s an ironic shirt,” Goyal told the news outlet. “People usually laugh at it, or they give me a thumbs up because they understand the meaning behind it.”
She is not a Satan worshipper but is a member of the Satanic Temple and bought the shirt in support of the organization.
The Satanic Temple is a nontheistic religious organization that has become known for its activism on issues such as separation of church and state, free speech and religious freedom, BuzzFeed News notes.
Goyal said a crew member found her shirt bearing support for the organization “offensive.”
“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 said of the crew member who told her to change her shirt.
She and her husband refused to leave the plane and instead took one of her husband’s shirt to cover up the “Hail Satan” message.
Goyal added that she was “humiliated” by the situation and contacted American Airlines after her flight to file a complaint.
She told BuzzFeed News that she received an email response from the airline that did not contain an apology, only a description of policies in place regarding “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,” the email response stated.
Goyal took to Twitter to voice her displeasure with the airline, and only then did American Airlines respond.
“Discrimination has no place at American Airlines,” the company replied on Twitter, adding that it would further investigate the incident.
“We apologize to Ms. Goyal for her experience, and we are reaching out to her to understand what occurred,” an American Airlines spokesperson told BuzzFeed.
The Hill has reached out to American Airlines for comment.