Man with Tourette’s kept off flight at National

A security line at National Airport. (Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post)

A man with Tourette’s syndrome was kept off of a JetBlue plane leaving Reagan National Airport last week because he said “bomb” before the flight boarded, according to the Associated Press.

Michael Doyle of Rockville told Fox 5 that he and a friend were scheduled to fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to participate in a Revolutionary War reenactment.

Doyle told Fox that he and his friend had alerted JetBlue and the Transportation Security Administration beforehand about what he might say.

“With all the stuff in the news about the Boston bombings and stuff… I started ticking ‘bomb.’ Because that when I get nervous and anything on my mind will come out. And things you’re not supposed to say,” said Doyle.

It didn’t cause any issues at passenger screening.

“We went through TSA saying ‘bomb’ the whole time and no one stopped us. No one said anything because they were aware.”

But he was told shortly before boarding that he would not be allowed on the plane.

In a statement to the New York Daily News, the airline said the man was “deemed a safety concern by the pilot in command after using the word ‘bomb.’”

The airline also said that after the situation was cleared up, they reached out to him “to coordinate alternative travel arrangements.”

Doyle told Fox he was offered a free round-trip ticket on another JetBlue flight.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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