10-Year-Old Boy Told to Remove Snake T-Shirt Before Boarding a Plane as It Could Cause Passenger Anxiety

Before boarding a December flight at O. R. Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa a 10-year-old boy was informed by airport security officers that the t-shirt he was wearing, which bore the image of a snake, would not be allowed on the plane, according to the Daily Mail.

Stevie Lucas had been on a family trip to visit his grandparents on the Western Cape of South Africa when security officers at the airport told Lucas' mother, Marga, that snake toys or t-shirts were not allowed on the flight. Their reasoning was that seeing the reptile could cause anxiety in other passengers or crew members.

Lucas turned his shirt inside out, put it back on and proceeded to board the plane.

Newsweek reached out to the Airports Company of South Africa for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

eastern garter snake stock photo
A 10-year-old boy was denied entrance to a flight in South Africa until he changed his shirt which airport personnel said could cause anxiety among the passengers. Getty

Clothing which may be deemed offensive or problematic has gotten people in trouble on airline flights in the past.

American Airlines threatened to boot Swati Runi Goyal from a flight from Florida to Nevada in December because she was wearing a shirt that read, "Hail Satan."

"The [crew member] asked me if I understood what 'offensive' meant," Goyal said to The New York Post. "I said, 'I'm a foreign-born minority woman. I know what my T-shirt means and my T-shirt is not offensive.'"

Airline employees disagreed and delayed the flight until Goyal put on a different shirt belonging to her husband.

In June, Dr. Tisha Rowe of Texas was asked to leave an American Airlines flight because of her outfit, a strapless romper. Rowe had to cover herself with a blanket before being allowed on the flight.

"Here is what i was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk," Rowe tweeted. "At which point I was asked to 'cover up.' When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket."

Here is what i was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk. At which point I was asked to “cover up”. When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket. #notsofriendlyskies pic.twitter.com/AYQNNriLcq

— Tisha Rowe MD, MBA (@tisharowemd) July 1, 2019

American Airlines later apologized to Rowe, saying the airline had "fully refunded their travel. We are proud to serve customers of all backgrounds and are committed to providing a positive, safe travel experience for everyone who flies with us."

"I think that if a passenger is required to modify their appearance to appease the airline, then it should be documented," Rowe told The Washington Post. "Those incidents should be reviewed."

Dress codes on airplanes are usually expressed in the contract of carriage, which represents the agreement between the passenger and the airline. For example, JetBlue's contract of carriage states that they may refuse to allow passengers on board "whose clothing is lewd, obscene, or patently offensive."