Insta-Cogo: Southwest Airlines' 'Pretty' Incident
Oh, Southwest, you never fail to entertain.
The airline seems to have a knack for attracting interesting, if not exactly bad, press. Last summer, several female passengers complained that the airline imposed a dress code on them, asking them to cover up their skimpy attire. Now, two college coeds claim they were kicked off a Southwest flight for being too pretty.
Huh? Check out this item from the Sky Talk blog from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. According to the AP story cited in the blog:
"Nisreen Swedberg and Sarah Williams, both 18, said the flight crew was rude to them the minute they stepped on the plane at Tampa's international airport. The girls said as soon as they got on the plane, they asked a flight attendant for a bottle of water and were refused.
"Then, the girls got into a screaming match with another passenger, witnesses said, when he took too long in the bathroom. But the girls claim they were the only ones who were questioned about the incident. Swedberg said four uniformed officers met them as soon as the plane landed, escorted them off in front of everyone and questioned them outside.
" 'I think they were just discriminating against us because we were young, decent-looking girls. I mean, no one 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.'
"After being questioned, the girls were released and no charges were filed."
Not wishing for a repeat of the publicity debacle from last year, Southwest scurried to respond to the charges in this YouTube clip, saying that "We welcome pretty people aboard our flights." It also denies charges that the pair were banned from Southwest for life, saying that it doesn't have the ability to do so even if wanted to.
The "About This Video" sidebar notes that, "This story has nothing to do with Ms. Swedberg and Ms. Williams' appearance, but rather their use of what other Passengers tell us was profanity and threatening behavior onboard one of our flights. Finally, we would have gone out of business a long time ago if we discriminated against beautiful women -- or anyone else for that matter
I say good for Southwest (though, really . . . should "Passengers" be uppercased? We're special, I get it already). If witnesses agree that the girls were acting nutty and rude, I say kick 'em off. And shame on them for trying to milk publicity for themselves when they seem to be at fault.
By John Deiner |
March 3, 2008; 1:11 PM ET
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