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September 26, 2011

Actress/musician says she was kicked off Southwest flight for being gay

Leisha Hailey, an actress on "The L Word" and part of the band "Uh Huh Her," said she was kicked off of a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing her girlfriend.

Hailey was apparently on Southwest flight 2274 that was leaving Baltimore and headed to St. Louis. In several tweets posted on Monday, Hailey called for a boycott of Southwest following her escort off the plane.

Southwest responded, asking Hailey to direct message them about the situation, and then a few hours later issued a statement saying that initial reports said the behavior was excessive but offered an apology to the passengers involved.

"Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender," the statement said.

Here are the tweets that Hailey sent out a few hours ago, describing the situation with Southwest Airlines.

"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

"@SouthwestAir Maybe you guys should put up a big sign that lists what you don't tolerate before we spend our money on your horrible service

"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. 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.

"Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers as "family".

"I know plenty of wonderful same sex families I would like to introduce them to. Boycott @SouthwestAir if you are gay. They don't like us.

"I call for a boycott for @SouthwestAir for their intolerance. Period. Unacceptable. Keep hearing more stories of these incidences. Insane!

"Did I mention to @SouthwestAir that I have a lot of their actions recorded on audio and video?

Here is Southwest's statement:

"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."

-Andrea Ahles


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S. Lamb

This further justifies why I do not fly Southwest. What an outrage.


This is yet another example of the overblown egos and attitudes of SWA flight attendants. I no longer will fly the airline because of their staff attitudes and serious lack of concern for passengers. What would happen if SWA flight attendants went into a store that refused to serve them because they did not meet the store's standards for whatever. You'd hear their union screaming. Sorry SWA but you brought this on yourselves.


"Actress" nobody has heard of on show nobody watches (probably on verge of cancellation) wants to drum up publicity and be interviewed by Matt Lauer.

How many passengers flying and flight attendants working really want to liven up things by harassing lesbians? They were two women on a mission to get their names in the news.


Who cares? As EuropTravl said, these two were looking for some notoriety.

Fly on American if you don't want to be harrassed - the 'management' in Centrepork has gone far out of their way to ensure your butts are kissed.

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Very Discomforting news, swa should not limit them selves for their passengers


“Help! Help! I’m being repressed!” (With apologies to Monty Python, et. al)

When it comes right down to it, inappropriate behavior is inappropriate behavior, irrespective of the gender combo involved being guy/guy, gal/gal, or even guy/gal. When it crosses the line as defined by other passengers who are complaining, one can’t very well blame the F/A for asking the two lovebirds that the inappropriate behavior stop.

I think most reasonable people would cease the inappropriate behavior at that point, but there are those that chose to take the request other than how it was intended or otherwise a personal affront, and react accordingly. Had these two been on any other airline, I don’t think the other airline would have acted any differently than Southwest. As I said, inappropriate behavior is inappropriate behavior, no matter which airline you’re on.

But hey, if you have a movie about to come out, a music CD to be dropped, or are about to start a multi-city concert tour, bad publicity is better than no publicity, as long as they’re talking about you.



I wonder if you would have blown this all out of proportion like you did if this was ARPEY AIRLINES. I read about this in several venues, but not one went to the trouble to publish ALL the posts by this publicity whore.

I agree with OPNLguy -- unacceptable behavior is unacceptable, no matter your orientation or what airline you are on.


If someone at Southwest has a clue about how to handle public relations they might want to come to Fort Worth's Gay Pride activities this weekend and explain to our community why we should not boycott them over this incident.

SW Flyer

Anyone who actually believes the "actress" in this situation is an idiot. People are not kicked off planes for normal behavior. If a customer complains about another customer, something must be done. In this case, MANY customers complained.
The "actress" used loud and vulgar language with the flight attendants while they were trying to address the issue. If you inhibit the ability of the flight attendant to do their job, you should not be on the flight. Get a room!! That behavior is not suitable in public.


She was not kicked off for being a Lesbian or even for the excessive kissing. She was kicked off for her aggressive, foul mouthed, four letter ranting about the incident. Another case of a Hollywood type thinking they are superior to everyone else and not subject to the same scrutiny as "us plain folk."


Are you kidding me? "Arpey Airlines"? You couldn't stay on topic if somebody paid you, could you?

This incident seems like a she said, she said for now. Any type of discrimination is wrong, if that is what happened. The truth usually comes out.

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This is really a bad situation faced by any one. SWA behavior is really weird one... No one want to face such problems during travel..

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