No Snakes on This Plane: Boy Told to Remove Snake Shirt Before Boarding Plane

One little boy was informed by airport security that he needed to change his t-shirt before boarding a plane.

What was so offensive about the shirt? Well, it had a snake on it.

passengers on airplane
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Stopped by Airport Security

10-year-old Stevie Lucas had accompanied his parents, Steve and Marga Lucas, to South Africa to visit his grandparents. The family was at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg and were about to board a plane to head back home to New Zealand when airport security stopped them.

Airport security officers stopped Stevie from boarding the plane, telling the family that the boy’s shirt, which featured a large snake, was not permissible clothing to be worn onboard the plane. The reason? His shirt could cause anxiety to other passengers or crew members.

His shirt was black and had a large green snake printed on it to look like the snake was curled over his shoulder.

boy wearing black t-shirt with big green snake printed on it
@aviation07fails via Twitter

To avoid drama and be able to board the plane, his mother told him to just flip his t-shirt inside out. Once his shirt was inside out, they proceeded to board the plane with no issue. However, the family is reportedly seeking further clarity on the rule.

Perhaps the airport security officers in Johannesburg have seen Snakes on a Plane a few too many times?

In-Flight Dress Codes

Betty Maloka, a spokesperson for the airport, said that the t-shirt falls into a set of prohibited items by International Civil Aviation Organization, which includes snake toys, clothing, and prints.

She also said that security officers have the right to decide if an object could harm fellow passengers or crew members by causing anxiety.

In case you’ve never been kicked off a plane for clothing before, I should tell you that airlines all have their own in-flight dress codes. They are usually expressed in the agreement between the airline and the passenger, referred to as the “Contract of Carriage.”

And while those dress codes don’t specifically mention “snake t-shirts,” they usually state that they have the right to refuse to allow passengers on board for wearing lewd, obscene, or offensive clothing.

They’ll also kick you off for being barefoot or wearing clothes that show your underwear, so keep that in mind the next time you’re catching a flight!