WestJet apologizes after Ragged Ass Road shirt flap
Airline flight attendant asked passenger to cover T-shirt from Yellowknife landmark
WestJet is apologizing after one of its flight attendants asked a B.C. man to remove a souvenir T-shirt from Yellowknife and wear it inside out because the logo was against their family-friendly policies.
Ragged Ass Road T-shirts and street signs are popular souvenirs among visitors to Yellowknife, and refer to a street in the city’s Old Town founded in its early gold-mining days. WestJet has had flights to Yellowknife since 2009.
Ken Carson said the flight attendant stopped him as he boarded the cabin for a flight from Vancouver to Edmonton on Sunday. He said the flight attendant asked him to remove the shirt and wear it inside out, saying that WestJet is a family-friendly airline. The passenger said he tried to explain the origin of the logo to the flight attendant but was rebuffed.
He did not remove the shirt, but covered it with his jacket for the entire flight.
In a letter to WestJet that he also sent to media and the City of Yellowknife, Carson said he was humiliated in front of the other passengers and that WestJet owes him an apology.
Yellowknife's mayor said this isn't the first time someone's taken offence to the street name.
"I found a file here where there was a place, I believe it was in Ohio, where the county administration had ruled against people displaying their Ragged Ass Road sign on their property because it wasn't proper for their neighbourhood," said Gord Van Tighem.
Van Tighem said city employees are meeting with Westjet officials to discuss the matter Tuesday afternoon.
WestJet said it apologizes for asking the passenger to cover the T-shirt. It also issued a photo showing a Ragged Ass Road street sign on the office door of its president and CEO Gregg Saretsky, which it says has been there for two years.