United Kingdom

Woman, 49, is forced to cover up 'offensive Hail Satan' t-shirt on American Airlines flight

An American Airlines passenger wearing a 'HAIL SATAN' t-shirt was told by crew members on her flight to cover up the top's 'offensive' logo or face being kicked off the plane. 

Swati Runi Goyal, 49, who is a member of the Satanic Temple, says she was warned by staff during her flight from Florida to Nevada on October 30 and forced to wear one of her husband's extra layers of clothing to cover up. 

She told BuzzFeed News an attendant told her 'our crew has found your shirt to be offensive'. The black t-shirt has HAIL SATAN in all-caps on its front, plus the text: 'Est. 666' and an upside-down cross.

Goyal, from Key West, Florida, said the experience left her feeling 'humiliated', adding: 'We initially just thought it was a joke. 

'But he repeated the directive, and there was another female crew member who was behind him with her arms crossed looking very angry.

'The man said "Your shirt is offensive. Do you know what that means?" I said, "I’m a foreign-born minority woman, I understand ‘offensive,’ and this shirt is not offensive".' 

Swati Runi Goyal was told by crew members on her American Airlines flight to cover up this t-shirt. She says she was warned by staff during her flight from Florida to Nevada on October 30 and forced to take one of her husband's extra layers of clothing to cover up

Goyal, pictured, from Key West, Florida, said the experience left her feeling 'humiliated'

The crew even delayed takeoff after bringing a customer service agent on board to speak with Goyal before she made the swap into her husband's extra layer. 

Goyal said: 'I’m just an ordinary-looking person. I’m not goth. I don’t have piercings. I wasn’t wearing a shirt that had a goat being beheaded on it.

'[I was] wearing L.L.Bean hiking pants and vegan sneakers. I mean, I couldn’t look like more of a nerd.' 

American Airlines stipulate passengers are required to 'dress appropriately' and avoid 'offensive clothing'. But what is deemed offensive is up to crew. 

The company has since tweeted Swati to say: 'Discrimination has no place at American Airlines.' They also offered to refund both tickets and pledged to continue their investigation.

The Satanic Temple is recognized as a church in the United States. 

The Temple says its mission 'is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will'.  

Goyal is a member of the Satanic Temple, which is recognized as a church in the United States

The company has since tweeted Swati and offered to refund both tickets

Goyal added: 'It's an ironic shirt. People usually laugh at it, or they give me a thumbs up because they understand the meaning behind it.

'I think the group that could be most targeted by this are Muslim people, for obvious reasons. I’m an atheist, but I support people’s rights to practice what they believe peacefully.'

A spokesman for American Airlines told DailyMail.com: 'We apologize to Ms. Goyal for her experience, and we are reaching out to her to understand what occurred.' 

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