Family Claims They Were Discriminated Against on Southwest Airlines

May 23, 2017May 23, 2017

A same-sex couple attempted to board a Southwest flight during the family boarding time frame recently with their three young children and the kids’ grandmother.

Family boarding allows families to board before a number of other passengers, so they have a likely chance of sitting together and parents can easily tend to their children. The family claims they were denied because they were a same-sex couple.

“Southwest airlines yesterday did not recognize us as a family and shame on them.”

The man mentioned, ‘I just feel as though that if I was a man and my spouse was a woman with our three children’, the situation would have gone much differently.

“You know their headline is ‘Luv’ or their logo or trademark. I wasn’t feeling the love. I was feeling hate.”

However, Southwest Airlines released a statement ensuring that they did not discriminate against the parents. The reason they would not allow the family to board is because the children’s grandmother was not eligible under the family boarding policy, which is clearly stated on their website.

"Prior to the departure of Flight 5136 from Buffalo to Fort Lauderdale on May 20, we welcomed all families to board the aircraft during Family Boarding between the 'A' and 'B' boarding groups. Our Operations Agent informed two parents that another member of their group was ineligible to board under Family Boarding and asked that she board in her assigned boarding group. This conversation in the boarding area had nothing to do with discrimination, we welcomed both parents to board the aircraft with their children."

"The parents expressed disappointment that the Family Boarding policy was not applicable to another member of their group. The two parents did not agree with our policy, and our Flight Crew worked to save seats together on the aircraft for the family as the conversation continued in the gate area. Our Family Boarding Policy is explained on and our Employees work hard to follow the policy to accommodate families traveling together while also maintaining boarding priorities for all of our Customers."

Despite Southwest’s response, the family is seeking possible legal action against the airline.

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