Not Saussure

September 29, 2006

“Kissing is inappropriate behavior on an airplane.”

Filed under: Bloody Yanks, usa — notsaussure @ 7:17 pm

Not, apparently, anything to do with the war on liquids ( also here) — cue jokes about mixing apparently harmless fluids with potentially explosive results.

OK, we’ve only got their side of the story, though the couple sitting in the row behind them appear to confirm their account, but it seems to be a case of two gay men on the plane back to New York from Paris whose behaviour is bothering no one other than one particularly officious hostie being told to stop and, when they ask if the same request would be made of a straight couple, everyone getting very worried.

The purser asked the men to describe what they’d been doing, and sheacknowledged that their behavior had not been inappropriate. Tsikhiseli then asked if the stewardess would have made the request if the kissers had been a man and a woman. Suddenly, Leisner said, the purser “became very rigid.” Contradicting what she’d told them before, she stiffly said, “Kissing is inappropriate behavior on an airplane.” She then said that she was busy with the meal service and promised to come back.

At one point, the Captain apparently threatened to divert the plane if they didn’t shut up and stop arguing.

Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American, said that the stewardess’s injunction to the men was reasonable, and would have been made whether the couple was gay or straight. “Our passengers need to recognize that they are in an environment with all ages, backgrounds, creeds, and races. We have an obligation to make as many of them feel as comfortable as possible,” he said.

Presumably the question got the purser worrying about the PR implications of American being tagged as an airline that discriminates against gays, and someone at American decided that it would preferable to be tagged as an airline that not only discriminates against gays but also makes up lame excuses which make it look like an airline run by pompous dickheads.

‘For everyone’s safety and convenience, you will not kiss your wife on one of our planes’? Come off it.

I know that public displays of affection between men and women are considered offensive in, for example, India, and my late wife and I had no problem respecting the local mores when we were visiting the place — in fact, she once got an airline gate opened for us after we arrived late for an internal flight by answering the question, ‘You cover your head. Are you a Muslim?’ (she was wearing a Hermès headscarf), ‘No, I’m a Catholic. But I understand it is the custom in Kashmir for married ladies to cover their heads, and I am a guest in your country’ — but on a flight between Paris and JFK?

Via Boing Boing


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