No snakes on this plane: Wellington boy told to remove snake T-shirt before boarding South African flight

Child wearing snake t-shirt
Airline officials reportedly thought the T-shirt may cause distress to other passengers. Photo credit: Big Commerce (Generic pic).

A Kiwi boy was reportedly told to remove his T-shirt emblazoned with a large snake before boarding a plane in South Africa, as it might cause distress to other passengers. 

Airport officials told Wellington 10-year-old Stevie Lucas to "take it off", when he tried to board a plane at OR Thambo Airport in Johannesburg earlier this month, wearing the offending item. 

According to local news site Netwerk24, Stevie was accompanying his parents, Steve and Marga Lucas, to South Africa's Western Cape to visit his grandparents. 

An image of Stevie wearing the offending t-shirt shows it was black, with a green snake curled over the left shoulder. 

A family spokesperson quoted by the local news outlet revealed Marga told her son to turn his t-shirt inside out at the time, so they could get on the flight. The family are reportedly now seeking further clarity on the rule.

Airport spokesperson, Betty Maloka, told Netwerk24 the T-shirt was part of a set of prohibited items by International Civil Aviation Organisation, along with other snake toys and prints. 

She added that security officers had the right to decide if an object could harm fellow passengers or crew by causing anxiety. 

According to the local news site, Stevie says he's a big fan of snakes and often visits reptile pet stores with his father. 

Newshub has approached Stevie's mother Marga Lucas for comment.