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Southwest scandal

01 Nov 2011

This month it was not a celebrity who had the epic fail but rather the airline she was flying.  L Word actress Leisha Hailey was escorted off her Southwest airlines flight because she was kissing her same sex partner. Before the couple was asked to leave the plane a flight attendant told them Southwest was a "family” airline and that their behaviour was unacceptable. Hailey’s girlfriend Camilla Grey immediately Tweeted about the incident saying "So we’ve joined the ranks alongside @BJAofficial and @ThatKevinSmith for being kicked off an @SouthwestAir flight, this time for being gay. @SouthwestAir we didn’t know intolerance and discrimination for slouchy pants, being overweight or being gay was part of your family values.” This Tweet alongside several from Hailey as well sparked a landslide of controversy on Twitter before being picked up by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. An outraged Hilton (who is openly gay himself) posted the response "Guess no one told them that families show affection! OR that refusing to give service to customers because they’re openly gay is DISCRIMINATION!” on his website perezhilton.comThe airline later issued a public apology to the couple and the hoards of angry Twitterers saying, "Initial reports 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 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 expectation.”Hmm... it seems Southwest has been at the centre of a lot of these scandals recently. Maybe they should start focusing a bit more on the actual safety and wellbeing of their passengers and a bit less on clothing, appearance and sexual orientation.