Top management executives and employees of Southwest Airlines are under severe scrutiny after being threatened with a lawsuit for discrimination. Grant Morse, the complainant, was traveling from Buffalo to Fort Lauderdale on 20th May when his family was denied family boarding privileges. He was traveling in the company of his husband, their three biological children, and his 83-year old mother. He claims that a gate agent of Southwest Airlines did not allow them to pre-board, even after confirming they were married.
According to a spokesperson for the airline, their family boarding policy allows family boarding privileges for an adult traveling with a child that is below the age of 6 years. This is supposed to happen before the boarding of the general population. Grant Morse says that his interpretation of this was that each child should be accompanied by an adult. However, Southwest Airlines officials ascertain that the issue was not the couple’s sexual orientation, but the presence of Morse’s mother. The gate attendant in question claims that she informed him of this and allowed one of them to board with the children. The other would then wait for general boarding with Morse’s mother.
Grant Morse was not pleased with this suggestion and wondered how one parent could be able to handle three children while carrying a diaper bag and pushing three strollers. He even forwards that another heterosexual couple was allowed to board with one child, as they tried to reason with the gate agent. This matter brought a considerable amount of humiliation and embarrassment to the couple and their children.
When they were finally allowed to board the plane, the airline’s attendants had only reserved four seats for them, a company of six.
Legal Action for Discrimination
The fact that his children were also involved in this ordeal greatly devastated Morse and this is why he decided to take legal action. He has filed complaints against the airline with the Aviation Consumer Protection Unit of the U.S Department of Transportation. Grant Morse says that any financial compensation received will be donated to various anti-discrimination organizations.
He wants Southwest Airlines to take disciplinary action taken against both the gate attendant and her supervisor. He also wants the CEO of Southwest Airlines to personally present a written apology, as well as intensify the airline’s obligation to diversity training.