A Tourette's Syndrome sufferer was refused boarding on to a flight in Washington because he kept repeating the word 'bomb'. Michael Doyle tried to get on the Jet Blue flight at Reagan National Airport to San Juan in Puerto Rico.
Doyle got through the passenger screening without being stopped even though he had begun "ticking" - the involuntary repetition of words or phrases that is a common feature of Tourettes. "With all the stuff in the news about the Boston bombings and stuff... I started ticking 'bomb,'' Doyle said.
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"Because when I get nervous and anything on my mind will come out. And things you're not supposed to say." Just before boarding a Jet Blue employee stepped forward and told Doyle who could not get on the plane. "I mean they stood me up in front of everyone and told me I'm like in kindergarten that I'm not allowed to go on the plane," he said.
Doyle's public humiliation happened even though he had contacted Jet Blue and the Transport Security Administration in advance about his condition, aware that it might create problems. Doyle had been traveling to Puerto Rico with his friend Chaz Petteway to take part in a Revolutionary War reenactment. Petteway stayed behind with his friend when he was refused permission to board. "To me it looks like it was kind of discrimination, you know," Petteway said.