“Mortified” Gay Couple Sues Airline For Putting Sex Toy On Display

dildo-luggage.jpgLast year a gay couple returning from a trip to Costa Rica  got quite a shock at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport the airport: Luggage handlers had gone through their bags, found a dildo, removed it and taped it to the exterior of their suitcase—so all the passengers could see it as it made its way down the baggage carousel.

Bilerico Project’s Michael Hamar, who knows the aggrieved couple well, posted a portion of an email from them:

As we arrived in Houston, Texas (“IAH”), we shuffled through the line for Immigration, and then picked up our two (2) checked bags as required by law upon our return into the US from a foreign country.

With bags in-hand we continued while making our way through a security checkpoint, then approached the area we were to check the bags-back-in, picked up our bags which were in sound and undamaged condition prior to handing them to the attendant who then sent them through the X-ray machine that housed a conveyor belt which sent them to wherever they go from there.

After arriving at our home airport while waiting around the baggage carousel, [he] kept looking for our last bag to come out. Then, a bag did in-fact emerge that had a similar appearance to ours; however, it appeared to be wrapped sporadically with CLEAR plastic tape bearing the logo “Continental” and seemed strangely malformed. As it got closer and much to his surprise…and moreover, his HORROR, he saw a sex toy we had packed, had been removed from the middle of the bag and taped right on top of the bag for everyone to see. SO EMBARRASSED, ABSOLUTELY MORTIFIED…just knowing that everyone in sight had already seen it and after looking at their faces that depicted disbelief, some were snickering, others completely astonished, and of course, disgust was ubiquitous. . . . .

[He] grabbed our bag . . . . then began quickly striding for the exit while clenching the bag towards his chest, struggling to conceal the open end of the bag while in total discomfiture and despair. [Our friend who was picking us up] is a witness. She saw it. She was completely flabbergasted and appalled that United/Continental Airlines OR ANYONE for that matter would do such a thing to begin with . . .

Though their luggage had two men’s names on it with one address, it’s not clear if a baggage handler could know it belonged to gay men, and thus was acting out of homophobia, or just some twisted sense of humor. Regardless, United/Continental should have immediately conducted an investigation to find the guilty party and terminate them. As Hamar points out, “If ‘someone else’ vanadalized the bag, why didn’t Continental personnel—the last to handle it— simply put the bag in a box and avoid the spectacle? Or better yet, why [wasn’t] the bag simply zipped closed? The zipper is still 100% functioning.”
At the very least these guys deserve free first-class tickets to Australia for Sydney Mardi Gras.