A gay couple from Florida say they were discriminated against by a Southwest Airlines gate agent when they were denied access to pre-board with their three young children.
Grant Morse and his husband were flying from Buffalo, N.Y. to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. over the weekend with their three kids.
As the family of five approached the gate, Morse told WGRZ, a gate agent reportedly stopped them, saying “this is for family boarding only.”
“I feel as though we were profiled the minute we walked up the boarding area,” Morse recalled to WGRZ.
“This gate agent immediately approached my spouse and said this is for family boarding only, and my spouse looked up and said, ‘Well, we are a family. It’s myself, my spouse, and our three children.’ She said it’s family boarding only and got very sarcastic.”
Southwest rules allow one adult to board with children, “but typically our employees allow both parents to board,” the spokesperson said. The airline denied in a statement that discrimination was a factor:
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.