Southwest Airlines at it again?

swair.jpegMany of you probably remember the grossness that was Southwest Airlines last year, when they kicked a young woman off a flight for what she was wearing. Then, when you thought the drama was over, they harassed a second woman and later mocked the debacle through a press release and promotional deal where they offered flights at “mini-skirt” prices.
Now, two women on a recent flight say they were harassed and eventually kicked off the plane and detained by officers because of the way they looked. The full story is somewhat unclear from the video (if anyone has more info, please send it along), but given Southwest’s history – I’m not putting anything past them.
Thanks to Matt for the link.

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  • manifestadestiny

    What was CNN proving by panning slowly up the woman’s body? Judge for yourself–is this woman hot? And if so, is she a victim, or was she asking for it with the way she was dressed? Either that or they are objectifying her to compete with FOX.

  • http://tobestalks.blogspot.com Tobes

    manifestadestiny,
    You took the words right out of my mouth. Did they send a chimp to cover that story? Was the panning necessary and did they go on facebook/myspace for all those pictures? It just all felt WEIRD.

  • http://peripatetique.aminus3.com Peripatetic

    More coverage
    “I think they were just discriminating against because we were young decent-looking girls. I mean, nobody else on the plane looked like us except us,� she said. “[The flight attendants] were like older ladies. We were younger. Who knows, they could have been just jealous of us because we were younger.�
    “Jealous”? “Nobody else on the plane looked like us”? They sound like brats. Unless they’re first-time travelers, they should know you don’t get water *immediately* after boarding. If she was skipped over, it could have just been an accident.
    Then apparently she needed to go to the bathroom and eventually knocked on the door, and the guy came out and yelled at her. She yelled back.
    This doesn’t seem like the story from last year at all. Seems like a I-want-it-now-waaah story with some luck because the woman last year was legitimately discriminated against.

  • http://peripatetique.aminus3.com Peripatetic

    More coverage
    “I think they were just discriminating against because we were young decent-looking girls. I mean, nobody else on the plane looked like us except us,� she said. “[The flight attendants] were like older ladies. We were younger. Who knows, they could have been just jealous of us because we were younger.�
    “Jealous”? “Nobody else on the plane looked like us”? They sound like brats. Unless they’re first-time travelers, they should know you don’t get water *immediately* after boarding. If she was skipped over, it could have just been an accident.
    Then apparently she needed to go to the bathroom and eventually knocked on the door, and the guy came out and yelled at her. She yelled back.
    This doesn’t seem like the story from last year at all. Seems like a I-want-it-now-waaah story with some luck because the woman last year was legitimately discriminated against.
    And I agree with the CNN coverage. What an inappropriate camera tilt.

  • http://peripatetique.aminus3.com Peripatetic

    And I agree, ridiculous camera tilt from ratings-hungry CNN. If the yelling from the passengers was what caused the “incident” in Southwest’s eyes, though, I wonder what the guy’s side of the story is (hence, why he wasn’t also escorted off).
    Quite a petty incident nevertheless.

  • MissMay12

    I hate to say it, but yah, this reeks of bratty, whiny, waaahh and “hey, didn’t they discriminate last year? I’ll try that to get a news story.”
    “Jealous?” Um, sure.

  • IncredibleKates

    After I listened to the story, it sounded more like the girls were being spoiled jerks than that the airline was discriminating against them.

  • theemu323

    Yeah, maybe I’m insensitive, but it sounds like these two were just being assholes (I know all my trips to the bathroom begin and end with shouting matches) and were arrogant enough to decide that they were being discriminated against for being pretty.
    The real story here, yes, is that upward pan. Pretty shameful.

  • fiery_lil’_redhead

    I actually heard from a couple of local news stations that the girls were taken off the plane because they were loud and using vulgar language. If that is the case, it would make sense to take them off the plane for that, after all, it is a family friendly airline. On the other hand, Southwest did discriminiate against that one young woman for how she dressed. But judging by what those girls said, I’m sorry, I just don’t know if I buy their story.

  • Betsy

    I have to agree with Peripatetic. This seems like a non-story to me.

  • pinkpicnic

    That story didn’t strike me as news-worthy or even legitimate. The station was capitalizing on the brou-ha-ha from last year’s stories. The girl sounded like she was reading off of cards, anyway. When I heard the line, “Nobody else on the plane looked like us,” I knew exactly what tack this was taking. I work at a university chock full of these girls and boys, and I think we can chalk this up to bad behavior and spoiled expectations.
    The full-body pan was totally in poor taste, also (not the girl’s fault).

  • JustAGrrrlGeek

    I think this might be a story of legitimate discrimination, but because it is about two uncharismatic (and entirely annoying) young ladies, its hard to give it any value. Certainly CNN was taking the wrong approach, not only with those camera angles, but with the headline “Too Pretty to Fly?” I don’t think that is really the issue at all, and a focus on Southwest’s policies (is kicking some people off for profanity but not others really ok?) would have been FAR more appropriate.

  • http://1002things.ca feminista

    The girls sound like spoiled brats to me. No one else looked like you? Right, beautiful people always are getting discriminated against in our society, all the time.
    Sounds like two girls were used to getting treated like princesses and were being rude to passenger and employee alike.
    The coverage in that video was absurd. Definitely the “judge if she’s hot for yourself” angle. *sigh* I think the only thing going on here that was sexist was the news coverage.
    I’ll wait for more coverage, but it doesn’t seem to be anything like the woman from last year who was actually being discriminated against.

  • http://www.veronicapare.com Roni

    This also strikes me as trying too hard. They weren’t exactly kicked off the plane. Yes, they were were escorted off by police, once the plane had already reached it’s destination. Also the self-proclaimed idea that they were the only young, reasonable attractive women on the plane is a pretty ridiculous statement. Since one of them got into a vulgar confrontation over the bathroom, it’s hardly baseless. They come across as self involved and ill-behaved, and that’s just what she’s admitting on CNN. Discrimination sounds like a bit of a stretch.

  • manabanana

    Um, wow. So two whiney white girls complain that they are discriminated against for how they look. Their case is shaky at best, outrageously ridiculous at worst, and they get coverage by a national media network. It’s interesting to me that we never see this kind of media coverage devoted to discrimination against women of color or racial profiling at airports, which are, you know, actually serious problems and everyday occurrences.

  • MLEmac

    Yeah, they did seem bratty, but I don’t see why the FBI needed to question them. I often have to fly southwest because there are very few direct flights from Little Rock to anywhere, except on southwest. I’ve certainly heard many colorful things said by other passengers that didn’t warrent them getting escorted off the plane. I feel like this isn’t a case of gender discrimination, but I’m really wondering about the excessive questioning, especially if all they were doing was dropping a few f-bombs and whining about water.

  • feministyouthofamerica

    So, I have an inside scoop on all of the craziness that went down last year with the girl not being dressed appropriately as I have family that work in the airline industry. Evidently, the young lady in question had on no underwear and when she went to put her suitcase in the overhead bin, the naked lower half of her body was exposed. In addition to that, the airline attendants in question believed her to be flashing her crotch to a man sitting a few aisles in front of her. So, that’s why she was kicked off. As for the other young lady last year, evidently she was being an asshole and used her outfit as an excuse for being kicked off to get national attention, when she was really being a jerk (probably like these two young ladies).

  • 007femme

    Whew! After the video I felt the same way as above posters and wondered if I was possibly an insensitive jerk that must have missed something.
    Also, thank you to manabanana for that critical comment.

  • http://again.bluesilver.org/ Dreama

    MLEmac, if you’re reported as “disrupting a flight” by acting in a demanding, aggressive or otherwise inappropriate way, you will be taken off by cops and questioned by feds, period. It’s part of the security theatre, but it’s also CYA for the airlines who don’t want to have an incident where someone *does* endanger a plane with misbehavior and turns out to have a history of that sort of thing.
    I’m curious what profanities were used, in what context and at what volume.

  • http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7951639350 lizadilly

    Yeah, this is CNN fluff, and manabanana is right on in pointing out that we would NEVER hear about this had it happened to two women of color (who surely encounter far more legit discrimination).
    I think I’ve traveled enough to know a nightmare passenger when I see one, and right now I see two.

  • kissmypineapple

    So two whiney white girls…
    What does their being white-identified have to do with anything? I definitely agree that the media doesn’t give any attention to POC and other serious issues, but I fail to see why calling these girls out for being white is productive.
    And, feministyouthofamerica, I doubt that very much.

  • NekkidNancy

    feministyouthofamerica: I call bullshit on your story. Why would the airline not report the inappropriate behavior when their judgement was questioned? Why would they sit by and look like assholes instead of coming out and saying what the passengers?

  • NekkidNancy

    feministyouthofamerica: I call bullshit on your story. Why would the airline not report the inappropriate behavior when their judgement was questioned? Why would they sit by and look like assholes instead of coming out and saying what the passengers did?

  • feministyouthofamerica

    I believe they said something to the effect of, we stand behind our flight attendants in this situation. Should the airline come out and say, we had to react to a young woman showing her vagina on an aircraft? I don’t know. I believe that would have probably got them more bad press than looking like idiots for simply kicking someone off because of their clothing. Plus wouldn’t they have been accused of libel if they printed the real reason for asking the young woman to leave the plane. The reason I know this is because I have a family member that works with flight attendant association. Evidently the other lady was acting like a jerk much like these ladies.

  • manabanana

    Kissmypineapple: I’m not calling these girls out for being white. My comment was not an indictment against their race. I’m pointing out the fact that they are white, and that this has everything to do with why their story was covered.

  • prairielily

    feministyouthofamerica,
    I also call bullshit. I went back and looked at some of the original articles, and found this:
    Airline’s clothing incident revealing
    Then there was a less charitable group, those who looked at Ebbert’s photo and wanted to believe the worst about this young stranger in a miniskirt.
    She was, they declared, a whore. Not just a whore, but a skanky whore who wasn’t wearing underwear and was flashing children on the plane.
    To them, dress equals character. Had Ebbert’s hem been two inches lower, they might have loved her like a daughter. Instead, they made up stories, asserted them as fact, and chided me for not reporting the things they imagined. Still others claimed Ebbert was wearing a different outfit that day.
    Their stories did not hold up under scrutiny, however. And Southwest Airlines never alleged improper behavior by Ebbert, nor did it dispute her version of the outfit she wore, right down to the underwear.

    So no dice. Sorry.

  • feministyouthofamerica

    I read the article posted, it referred to readers reactions to the outfit, not the airline’s viewpoint or even other people on the plane. While Southwest might not have said, “she wasn’t wearing underwear and acting inappropriately” this is exactly what was mentioned to my relative who works extensively in the airline industry representing attendants. I’m not denying it was heard through a relative, and probably can be thrown out to the general “telephone” phenom. However, I was pretty appalled when this came out (that someone would be kicked off of a plane for wearing a revealing outfit and labeled a “whore” or something of that nature) and specifically questioned him on it. He said that he was told by Southwest employees that she wasn’t wearing underwear and that’s what the hubbub was about. He’s also not employed by Southwest and generally doesn’t think highly of other carriers (especially Southwest ie. Southworst) so he would probably love seeing egg on another carriers face. As someone who is so involved with attendant affairs he does work closely with other carriers and exchanges horror stories to see how to deal with these same issues on his airline. I don’t doubt his story and that Southwest would probably look like crap if it mentioned the “no underpants” publicly. Basically what would they gain by calling someone out on this in the media? They probably looked at the possible fall out from that and thought that they should go with what was easiest. Now people can call foul on me all they want, and believe whatever about Southwest. I’m just here telling you what the inside scoop was on this craziness. Plus, what would a gay male airline attendant care if a woman was wearing a revealing outfit? I know, I know not all male airline attendants are gay, but supposedly the one that dealt with this situation was. Anyway, this isn’t my take on this, but what was told to me by someone on the inside and yes, it is entirely hearsay.

  • http://www.ibloviate.org jer_

    There isn’t any actual discrimination going on in America at the moment, we have to cover “we were discriminated against because we’re hotter than everyone else and they’re jealous” nationally?
    Alert Jesse Jackson, problem solved!

  • everybodyever

    This is the same Southwest Airlines that first got its business off the ground by dressing its flight attendants in miniskirts and go-go boots, isn’t it?

  • jim johnson

    This is wrong to kick somebody off a flight for what they are wearing. I fly southwest all the time
    and just love it. I am not sure what they are thinking when they did this.
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