In a torrent of angry tweets, “L Word” star Leisha Hailey reported that she and her girlfriend were kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight from Baltimore to St. Louis yesterday, allegedly for “excessive” kissing.
“Since when is showing affection to someone you love illegal?” she tweeted after the flight landed. She indicated that she and her girlfriend were reprimanded for sharing a mid-air kiss.
Late yesterday, Southwest Airlines issued a terse statement alluding vaguely to the incident. “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 statement read. “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 expectation.”
The Associated Press reported that the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) had contacted Southwest to “call for additional actions beyond tonight’s statement that ensure all customers feel comfortable and welcomed while traveling.”
Southwest Airlines received a score of 95 out of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index in 2010. The company requires all employees to attend sexual orientation and gender identity sensitivity training, and actively markets its services to LGBT consumers.