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Man with Tourette syndrome not allowed on flight after saying 'bomb'

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It was a trip Michael Doyle had been anticipating for two years.

But he was not permitted to board a JetBlue San Juan-bound flight at Reagan National Airport because of something he said that was brought on by his Tourette Syndrome.

Doyle, who has Tourette syndrome, said he was not allowed to board a Jet Blue flight because he said “bomb” close to 100 times, according to ABC News.

“I was telling myself in my head before don’t say bomb. When you try to suppress Tourette’s, it comes out even worse,” Doyle said, according to ABC.

Doyle, 19, said he arrived at Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport Thursday with medical documentation describing his condition. Doyle and his friend made it through security, but a once a JetBlue pilot heard Doyle say bomb, he refused to let him on the flight.

People with Tourette syndrome suffer from verbal tics that they cannot control. Doyle said that he had been following coverage of the Boston bombings and was worried about how those ideas would manifest, given his condition. 

Doyle and his friend consequently missed their 18th century battle reenactment in Puerto Rico, which they had planned for two years.

“It is very frustrating, especially after three hours of sitting there and two years planning, and it just doesn’t happen,” Chaz Petteway, 20, said, according to ABC News.

JetBlue later said, “After further investigation, the situation was deemed innocuous” and offered Doyle a round trip ticket, but there is no guarantee he will be able to board another flight, ABC reported.

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