'American Morning' Criticizes Southwest Airlines for Not Allowing Offensive T-Shirt

     CNN “American Morning” co-anchor John Roberts accused Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) of being “fashion police” after the airline asked a passenger to change shirts before boarding, but Roberts should have familiarized himself with the agreement Southwest Airlines passengers enter into when they buy a ticket.


    “A passenger wearing a T-shirt with a somewhat off-color joke on it about his fishing prowess was told that he couldn't board the flight while wearing it.” Roberts said on the October 9 “American Morning.”


     Florida resident Joe Winiecki was told by the airline to turn his shirt inside out, change shirts or get off an October 7 flight according to The Associated Press. The “sexually suggestive” shirt read certified “Master Baiter.”


     The CNN co-host used the story to promote a CNN online poll that asked if airlines should play the role of “fashion police.”


     But Roberts didn’t mention the Southwest Airlines Contract of Carriage, the agreement passengers submit to when they purchase a ticket from the airline. One part of that agreement states:


     “[The] Carrier may refuse to transport or remove from the aircraft at any point any passenger in the following categories as may be necessary for the comfort or safety of such passenger or other passengers: (1)   Persons whose conduct is or has been known to be disorderly, abusive, offensive, threatening, intimidating, or violent, or whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive …”


     That agreement clearly gives Southwest the right to ask a scantily or offensively dressed customer to change. Roberts should have provided viewers with that information.


     Roberts’ sidekick, co-host Kiran Chetry also threw a punch at Southwest.


     “We could do a deal like – you get us somewhere on time and we'll dress however you want. How about that? You don't lose our luggage and we'll cover up,” said Chetry.


     But based on Southwest Airlines on-time track record – Chetry probably won’t be able to wear any offensive clothing on her next flight.


     According to flightstats.com, a Web site that tracks on-time arrivals, Southwest Airlines had the best record of domestic carriers for the month of July (the most recent data available). “NBC Nightly News” also reported on August 20 Southwest had the best on-time performance rating of the summer.