The pregnant woman who was dragged off of a Southwest Airlines flight at BWI Airport last week is pushing back against the narrative given by the airline, saying she didn’t actually tell staff she had a life-threatening allergy. She’s also arguing she was racially profiled.
A pilot thought he would make a “fun announcement” on a Southwest Airlines flight heading out of Baltimore on Friday. He wanted to make it known that an air traffic controller’s mother was on the flight. But somehow — I don’t know how because PA systems on airplanes are typically crystal clear — when the pilot said “mom on board” some passengers heard “bomb on board” and became nervous.
Even though flight attendants were quick to assure everyone that there was no bomb, a couple passengers were still so fuming when they landed in Long Island that they reported the “incident” to airport security who contacted the police.
Now, on the one hand, of course someone would be alarmed to think that a bomb was on board their plane. But I have to think that the pilot’s (presumably) unworried tone should have provided a “context clue” for the passengers that nothing was really wrong.
In my imagination, this is what the announcement sounded like: “We’re just about 30 minutes from our destination…just wanted to let everybody know…that we’ve got a very special bomb on board with us today…she’s the bomb of air-traffic controller Ted Wilson…and it’s her birthday…so during the remainder of the flight…if you’re sitting near Ted’s bomb be sure to wish her a happy 60th…”
L-Word actress Leisha Hailey kissed her girlfriend on a Southwest flight from Baltimore to St. Louis… and promptly got kicked off the plane for it. Now, Hailey has taken to Twitter to call for a boycott of the airline, while Southwest is claiming that Hailey’s behavior was excessive, and that other passengers were complaining. The airline wrote on its website that the actress was approached “based solely on behavior and not gender.”
But Hailey — perhaps taking a cue from Alice, the fiery character she played on the long-running Showtime drama — says that she’s been discriminated against, and has called for a Southwest boycott. She claims that the flight attendant told her that Southwest was a family airline… and Hailey reacted by getting “verbally upset.” She issued a statement on Tuesday, calling for airline bosses to issue an apology.
Things could get even trickier, because Southwest is the official airline of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Hailey’s statement continues, “We want to live in a society where if your loved one leans over to give you an innocent kiss on an airplane it’s not labeled as ‘excessive or not family oriented’ by a corporation and its employees. We find it very disturbing that the same airline who lauds itself as being LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) friendly has twisted an upsetting incident that happened into our behavior being ‘too excessive’.”