A Spirit Airlines passenger at Tampa International Airport was booted from his flight Sunday because he objected to a button worn by a black flight attendant that said, “Black Lives Matter, White Supremacy Kills.”
“I said to her, ‘All lives matter,” passenger Robert Coyle told Tampa’s WTVT-13. “And she said, ‘I disagree with you. I disagree with you on so many levels.’ And then she went into some sort of memorized, ‘I really can’t speak politically while I am in uniform.'”
That’s when Coyle took a photo of the button. The attendant said the picture violated airline rules and asked to see it.
Coyle said he agreed to delete the image, but the woman interrupted her safety demonstration to demand that the pilot escort Coyle off the plane.
Coyle recovered the image and shared it with WTVT-13.
“No company should allow that to happen,” he said, “unless they are willing to accept the consequences for that happening.”
Watch the report:
The news station reported that Spirit Airlines said the attendant violated its policy against political, religious or inflammatory messages on its uniforms.
“They offered Coyle undisclosed restitution and took undisclosed disciplinary action on the unidentified flight attendant, who’d been with the airline 14 months,” WTVT-13 reported.
Coyle said he’s content with Spirit’s response.
“If you have something offensive on your uniform, you are going to offend customers,” he said. “And customers pay the bills.”
Spirit released the following statement to the news station:
Spirit Airlines is proud of a diverse workplace with team members of many different backgrounds and beliefs. We are committed to providing a fun, friendly, and relaxed experience to all of our customers. While we appreciate that Spirit employees have a wide range of personal views, the expression of those views should not interfere with their ability to provide a positive customer experience when in uniform and on duty. The photo indicates the Flight Attendant was not in compliance with our uniform policy. We have addressed this with the flight attendant and have spoken with Mr. Coyle regarding this unfortunate situation.
Note: Spirit Airlines can be contacted here.