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Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019
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I routinely fly Southwest Airlines (to and from Washington DC - a rather uptight city and Fort Lauderdale - a very Gay-friendly city) and have never encountered a single incident involving such indecencies as recently reported in your publication. There must certainly have been a miscommunication between the parties. SWA has a history of accommodating all walks of life in a pleasant and professional manner.

It is quite possible, and highly probable that the passengers involved were already overly sensitive due to the malady being suffered. Had they mentioned to the crew that he was ill, the crew would've gone out of their way to offer all the comforts available to ease the general discomfort of air travel. SWA is a no-frills carrier yet they offer superior service with a smile and deliver with positive personalities.

My partner flies for SWA and he has never been compromised by his employer nor any other SWA employee regarding his sexual orientation. As a Gay man, I have never encountered any discriminatory or otherwise distasteful behavior from any SWA employee whether or not I disclosed my sexual orientation or relationship status. SWA offers a rather generous domestic partner benefits package (which I don't personally take advantage of) and promotes a pleasant, positive and open environment for all employees to ensure nothing less than a pleasant and positive experience for all their passengers.

There are always two sides to every story.

I find it nauseating that such an extreme interpretation by the parties to what could be tantamount to a simple misunderstanding has been reported with ridiculous vigor so as to impress upon the public the notion that the alleged actions of a single individual is representative of such a generous supporter of the GLBT community!

I will continue to patronize Southwest Airlines and will continue to find their employees to be the most outgoing, pleasant, considerate and Gay-friendly folks in the sky!

Jeff Kozak
Washington, DC


I just read the story about what happened to Kelly and Fred. Have you forwarded this to the HRC? Or any other Gay/Gay-friendly publication? How about USA Today? Normally Southwest is very Gay-friendly, but you never know these days what kind of cabin staff are in the cabins. My suggestion is that EVERYTHING be documented, and that specific flight numbers are used. This way, the entire crew can be tracked down for investigation - especially the flight attendant working the aft galley. Give a complete description as to what she looked like, hair, eyes, etc. & that way, the crew cannot say, "Well, I was not the one working in the back." Trust me on this one.

Last winter, I was waiting with my crew for our hotel van in Manchester, NH, when I did hear an "older" Southwest f/a say, "Ya know, I really wish they would cut down on the number of Queers that are joining our ranks." When I heard this, I said, "Excuse me, what did you just say? How long have you been flying?" She remarked that she had been flying for less than a year, was based in Baltimore, and she was from the "old school" (she looked to be in her 50s), "where Gay men were not to be seen." Dumbfounded, I said, "You do realize that Gay men and women make up a significant population of flight deck and cabin crews." She then looked at me and said, "Well, that's why YOUR airline is in such terrible condition."

At that time our van arrived and we left for the hotel, but this incident haunts me to this very day & reading your story only brought back awful memories.

Aaron Bocknek
Flight Attendant, US Airways,
Washington, DC


Dear Editor,

I am disappointed with your publication and its one-sided treatment of the story of one disgruntled passenger. Could I please write an article about how much I like Southwest Airlines, and you would feature it on the front page with my picture and the Southwest Airlines logo? I noticed the only positive statements about Southwest have been buried in your Letters to the Editor section.

I have flown Southwest Airlines for over 10 years, and have never had an issue with being a Gay man on their flights. In fact, I dated a Southwest Airlines flight attendant for over two years. I even had domestic partner benefits with the airline.

Homophobia at 30,000 feet? I think not. An isolated incident that has been blown out of proportion? I think so.

David R. Wildman


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