You might be surprised to know that it’s not just airlines that can get the Cranky Jackass award. Today, I have the pleasure of awarding it to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the girls who say that being so hot got them banned from Southwest for life.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, it is. But this irresponsible piece of journalism from a Tampa news station proves that it must have been a slow news day when it happened. The girls claim that they were harassed from the moment they got on board, and at the end of the flight they were met by law enforcement and banned for life from flying Southwest. Why? Because they’re “decent looking.” Don’t believe me? Watch the video yourself, complete with camera panning head-to-toe in order to give you a good look.
Now, last time Southwest had a sex scandal, they ignored it and it blew up to epic proportions. The girl with the short skirt, Kyla Whats-Her-Face, even got herself invited to a Richard Branson party for Virgin America. When they finally did respond, it was a day late and a dollar short. The damage had been done. So you knew Southwest wouldn’t make that mistake again, and it was exactly their response this time that even made me consider writing about this event.
First, they put out a press release with all the facts from the point of view of the crew members involved as well as uninvolved passengers on the flight. Also, I received a quick response from Southwest spokesperson Paula Berg when I asked for more details. She immediately pointed me to an updated story from the same person who filed the original report. This one presented Southwest’s side of the story.
As you might imagine, they have a very different interpretation of events, and one that I find to be far more believable. They say the girls (or at least one of them) got angry that someone was in the bathroom so long. They pounded on the door, and when asked to stop acting that way, they refused. When the person came out, words were exchanged, at the very least. Once they landed, they took them off the plane and canceled the return on their tickets, giving them a refund for that fare. Oh, and Paula added, “the two ladies are not ‘banned’ from ever traveling on Southwest in the future.” Sounds a lot more plausible to me.
But what’s really interesting here is that they fought the YouTube video with a response video of their own from spokesperson Brandy King.
She may very well be a good spokesperson behind the camera, but she didn’t come off very well in front of it. The content was fine, but she fumbled and stumbled her way through the minute-long video. I still like the proactive effort, but really, the entire time I was watching this video, I kept thinking two things.
- Nice strategic placement in front of the picture that says “A beautiful way to fly.” Hah.
- If Southwest decided to ban pretty people from flying, Brandy King wouldn’t be able to fly her own airline
Despite the fumbling in the video, I think this was handled pretty well by Southwest. It’s nice to see them learn from their past mistakes. A look at the 900+ comments on that news story shows that most people side with the airline on this one (but definitely not all). My favorite comment? “I didn’t know Paris and Nicole were still friends?!!”