Leisha Hailey, 40, tweeted that a flight attendant had told her that Southwest ‘was a “family” airline and kissing was not ok’, and that she and her companion were then ‘escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue’.
‘SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees,’ she tweeted. ‘Since when is showing affection toward someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers a “family”.’
She went on to tweet: ‘Boycott SouthwestAir if you are gay. They don’t like us.’
Hailey, who starred on Showtime network’s ‘The L Word’ as Alice, a bisexual magazine writer and radio host, also demanded a public apology.
The 40-year-old has also had roles on Grey’s Anatomy, Drop Dead Diva and CSI and is part of the electropop duo band, Uh Huh Her.
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.’
The statement concluded: ‘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.’
An airline spokesman declined to comment beyond the prepared statement.
The incident comes a little over three weeks after another celebrity, Green Day rocker Billie Joe Armstrong, was complained he was booted from a Southwest flight in Oakland, California, because he was wearing his baggy pants too low.
This isn’t the first time Southwest Airlines has been accused anti-gay remarks and actions, as RadarOnline.com previously reported, an unnamed pilot was heard over the radio — unaware it was on — complaining that his co-workers were ‘a continuous stream of gays and grannies and grandes’ he doesn’t care to socialize with in between stops.
An hour before the airline posted a link to the statement on its Twitter page, Hailey was retweeting a comment calling attention to a page on the Southwest website where the airline had highlighted its ‘outreach and commitment to the GLBT community’.
Southwest is the official airline of GLAAD and other similar groups.
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