Lesbian ‘L Word’ Actress Kicked Off Southwest Airlines Because They Are A ‘Family Airline’
Apparently Southwest Airlines has very archaic ideas about what constitutes “a family.” L Word star Leisha Hailey was promptly escorted off the plane with her girlfriend for kissing during the flight. Hailey tweeted that after spotting them kissing, a flight attendant told them they were “a family airline” and that their affection was not acceptable.
‘SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees. Since when is showing affection toward someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers a “family.’
In a statement released by the airline following the incident, the company maintained that the couple was approached about their PDA — not their sexuality:
The airline issued a statement saying initial reports it received about the incident ‘indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behaviour as excessive’.
‘Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behaviour and not gender,’ the airline said. ‘The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight.’
Keeping all customers “comfortable,” reads like homophobia to me but I do understand the position of the flight attendants to respond to customer complaints. While I doubt many heterosexual couples have been ejected from planes for public displays of affection, the assumption that Leisha and her partner are somehow not “a family” is very presumptuous and dismissive.
There is a way to approach couples, both straight and gay, about toning down PDA without focusing on their sexuality or making assumptions about their union. But it looks as though Southwest doesn’t bother teaching their employees such skills.