There could be a lot of reasons why you are not allowed to board an international flight; you could be holding a gun or hiding a bomb or not having a proper visa or your passport might look funny (to those guys at the airport I mean); but did you ever hear of a guy who was asked to get off because he was wearing a picture of a gun on his T shirt?
Hey, No kidding. It really happened to this guy Brad Jayakody at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport. Does that ring a bell somewhere? No it’s not what you think; Brad is a fairly harmless guy. Techgoss was especially intrigued as Brad’s family is originally from neighboring Sri Lanka, and got in touch with him to get the real story of what happened.
He just rides motorbikes, plays computer games and likes a beer. If you want to know more, he is a Srilankan by lineage but Aussie-born-and-bred and works for himself in IT consulting. He is a Java/J2EE developer who works with large scale websites since the last one decade. He travels quite a bit for work, and his trip from London to Düsseldorf for business was his sixth or seventh one but the first through Terminal 5.
So this is what happened.
Brad was at Terminal 5 just taking off to Düsseldorf for work from London. He’s carrying just hand luggage and wearing a Transformers T shirt showing a cartoon gun. Period. The guys at the pre-flight security took one look and asked him to remove his T shirt if he wanted to proceed. Brad didn’t have another shirt on him, so asked to see the person in charge, in any case what the hell can be wrong with Optimus Prime and a gun painted on a piece of cloth? But the chief too didn’t say any different, and also threatened him with arrest if he wore it again. Brad didn’t want to waste time convincing what seemed like characters out of a film, so he just changed and went on with his life.
And don’t even think this has some racial undertones to it. Brad told Techgoss that the security guys involved in the incident were not Anglo-Saxons. I guess Brad wasn’t alone; recently a student was stopped in Canada for wearing a gun shaped necklace. And Gatwick guards confiscated a beef-sandwich before a passenger boarded the plane. How’s that for the kicks?
Sounds funny and out of a film? It is not, it really happened and Brad has it on his blog. And the UK media including BBC and Sun did a piece on it.