Celebrities seem to get into trouble on airplanes way too often. Usually, they did something kind of wack—like when Gerard Depardieu emptied his bladder or when Josh Duhamel refused to get off his BlackBerry. But when Leisha Hailey of “The L-Word” got booted off a Southwest Airlines flight yesterday, she says it was for a very different reason. She says she was kicked off the flight for kissing her girlfriend.
“I have been discriminated against by @SouthwestAir. Flt. attendant said that it was a ‘family’ airline and kissing was not ok,” she tweeted yesterday after the incident. “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.”
She claims to audio and video of the entire incident, and is now calling for a boycott.
Southwest, naturally, has responded. “Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive,” they said. “Our crew… approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender. The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground …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.”
Leisha’s response? “I didn’t realize a small peck on the lips is regarded as excessive.”
This is especially interesting given that it’s not the first time Southwest has been accused of removing a famous passenger from a flight for an unconventional reason. Earlier this month, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day claimed he was kicked off a flight for letting his pants sag too low. And then there was the time Kevin Smith got booted from a flight for being too overweight.
What is going on here—power hungry stewardesses? Or is Southwest’s passenger removal policy far too liberal? Or do famous folks give off some kind of vibe that rubs flight staff the wrong way? I need your theories, please.