CNN “American Morning” co-anchor John Roberts should have familiarized himself with Southwest Airlines “Contract of Carriage” before he assailed that airline for playing the role of fashion police.
Florida resident Joe Winiecki was told by airline employees to turn his lewd 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.” But Roberts didn’t see it that way.
“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.” 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 the Southwest Airlines Contract of Carriage, an agreement passengers submit to when they purchase a ticket from the airline, 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 …”
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.
However, Chetry probably won’t be able to wear any offensive clothing on her next Southwest 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.