It seems that not all the
stewardesses, air hostesses flight attendants out there are as perky and accommodating as the lovely ladies on ABC’s Pan Am.
The L Word actress Leisha Hailey tweeted late Monday on @Leisha_Hailey that she and her girlfriend, fashion designer Nina Garduno, were thrown off a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing. “I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir Flt. attendant said that it was a ‘family’ airline and kissing was not ok.”
“This is an outrage,” Hailey continued. “I demand a public apology by @SouthwestAir and a refund. Hate is not a family value. I will never fly this airline. We were escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue. @SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. No one made her accountable.”
Apparently, Hailey (who is also a musician in the band Uh Huh Her) and Garduno were escorted off the plane after they became upset by the flight attendant’s comments about their PDA. Hailey indicated she recorded audio and video of much of the altercation and asked her nearly 12,000 Twitter followers to boycott Southwest.
A Southwest rep quickly tweeted back asking Hailey to get in touch with them privately: “I’m so sorry! Can you please follow/DM [direct message] me more details so we can get to the bottom of this? Thanks!”
Later, Southwest posted a response on its blog:
“Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive. Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender. The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight. We regret any circumstance where a passenger does not have a positive experience on Southwest and we are ready to work directly with the passengers involved to offer our heartfelt apologies for falling short of their expectations.”
This isn’t the first time Southwest has ousted a celebrity passenger—Billy Joe Armstrong was removed from a flight earlier this month for wearing saggy pants and Kevin Smith was blocked from boarding a Southwest flight in February because he was too overweight.
Hmm, both Smith and Armstrong are notably pro-gay. Is this part of some bigger issue? The airline received a score of 95 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2011 Corporate Equality Index and is the official airline of The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA) and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). But it was just three months ago that a Southwest pilot unleashed an anti-gay rant over his cockpit microphone.
Either way we sense some turbulence ahead.
Image via UhHuhHer.com, Clea DuVall