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Insta-Cogo: Southwest Airlines' 'Pretty' Incident

John Deiner

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  | Category:  Air Travel , Insta-CoGo , John Deiner
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I saw a clip of one of the girls talking about her experience. There's no way Southwest did anything wrong- she was completely obnoxious (and stupid, too- she couldn't put a complete, coherent sentence together). It's too bad that Southwest had to defend themselves, but those girls are morons.

Posted by: surlychick | March 3, 2008 1:38 PM

"we're pretty -- we deserve to be treated special" pretty much sums up the attitude of these self-absorbed children . . . boot their sorry *ss*ss off so the rest of us "not as pretty folk" can get on with our lives.

Posted by: colorado kool aid | March 3, 2008 2:06 PM

These girls are definitely giving the rest of us pretty people a bad name!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 3, 2008 2:08 PM

". . . should "Passengers" be uppercased?"

Southwest is really unconventional in that regard - but they are consistent (in press releases, individual letters to customers - you name it). I'd love to see a copy of their style guide sometime.

Posted by: swdc | March 3, 2008 2:32 PM

I saw a clip of those girls, too. Obviously a product of the pampered, self-esteem-is-more-important-than-education generation. They sounded like they'd never had an english class. And every sentence? Ended like a question? And who are they to say someone 'took too long' in the bathroom? What are they, the loo cops? Ugh. Idiots. At least they put their own stupid selves on tv so we could see for ourselves who the morons in this situation were.

Posted by: old town | March 3, 2008 4:36 PM

Um, I found the video of the girls.

Not to be snarky, but I'm sure no one looked like them but them on the flight. Tampa to LA - most people were probably better groomed...

Posted by: .... | March 3, 2008 7:49 PM

The "loo cops"- LMAO!

Posted by: surlychick | March 4, 2008 8:12 AM

I would rather fly with rude young chicks that fat females looking like they were fattened up for the slaughterhouse oozing over all the seats in the row and taking up all the space in aisle. Leave the cows at home please.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 4, 2008 9:51 AM

I know these two females from high-school, and they are some of the most stuck up attention grabbing women I have ever met. Sarah Williams just barley passed highschool getting her GED and taking preventivie drop out courses, and the other girl just seems to be following along for the media ride. Anyways the whole situation is silly, and these girls will probably get screwed in the court system once they do an investigation and find out it was a complete waste of time and money.. The report of them acting childish and causing trouble is probably 100% correct because from what I remember with this girl Sarah is that in my highschool classes this is exactly how she acted towards the teachers childish and used profanity when she didn't get her ways.

Posted by: KnightRight | March 17, 2008 2:11 PM

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