Airlines

'90210' actress AnnaLynne McCord claims Southwest Airlines discriminated against her gay friends

A “90210” actress is calling out Southwest Airlines for allegedly discriminating against her gay friends.

In a long letter to the airlines, AnnaLynne McCord wrote that she was left with “an absolutely broken heart” after her close friends, a gay couple and their two daughters were denied family boarding due to the nature of their relationship.

McCord shared her letter on social media alongside a photo of the family, detailing the discriminatory events that allegedly took place. 

#OPENLETTER to @southwestair Dear Southwest Airlines, Have you ever felt bullied? Have you ever been picked on? Have you ever been rejected? The one who got left out because for some reason to another person you didn't measure up; you did not belong? A couple of days ago, the young girls in this photo were made to feel just that by individuals who wear your logo and represent your company. It was their first flight ever and they were so excited to join their Daddies on a family trip. Only your employees made it clear that these beautiful little girls and their fathers were not in fact “family.” And when it came time for "Family Boarding" these little girls were shown what has caused the detriment in our world; hate. They were not allowed to board with the other families and had to watch as their fathers were told that they didn't count as family. Love is what these wonderful little girls have for their Dads. Love does not separate, it unites. So, I would just like to ask you 'why'? Why would your company representatives (the desk agents boarding the plane on behalf of your corporation) believe that it is okay to reject these little girls’ love for their fathers, making them feel that they are not good enough? That their family should be left out? Is that not a form of bullying? Is that not a form of hate? I certainly wouldn't call it love. I implore you, as a company that seeks to provide a happy experience for all of its customers, to hire individuals who despise hate, not love; who embrace difference, not look down on it. Please, don't allow your company to promote the hate that destroys the pure innocence of the love of a child. With an Absolutely Broken Heart, AnnaLynne McCord

A post shared by AnnaLynne McCord (@theannalynnemccord) on

“A couple of days ago, the young girls in this photo were made to feel just that by individuals who wear your logo and represent your company,” McCord wrote to Southwest.

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“It was their first flight ever and they were so excited to join their Daddies on a family trip. Only your employees made it clear that these beautiful little girls and their fathers were not in fact ‘family.’ And when it came time for ‘Family Boarding’ these little girls were shown what has caused the detriment in our world; hate. They were not allowed to board with the other families and had to watch as their fathers were told that they didn't count as family,” she continued.

McCord identified the two men as her “very close friends Jake and Dave” in a comment below her initial post on Instagram. Many fans were supportive of the actress’s heartfelt words, expressing their gratitude that she is standing up for what she believes in.

Others, however, commented that her information regarding the airline policy is inaccurate. “FAMILY BOARDING IS FOR KIDS UNDER 6 years old!!!!!! I was with the ‘traditional family’ and still couldn't do it. You're making something out of nothing. The family involved even said that!!!” one person wrote.

According to the boarding process FAQ on Southwest’s website, “An adult traveling with a child six years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs after the ‘A’ group has boarded and before the ‘B’ group begins boarding. If the child and the adult are both holding an ‘A’ boarding pass, they should board in their assigned boarding position.”

A spokesperson for the airline told Huffington Post that while they were unaware of any formal complaints related to the incident in question, they “regret any less than positive travel experience” the passengers may have had.

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“We don’t have any existing reports associated with the Customers’ travel experience but we have contacted the Employees involved for an internal review of what happened,” the spokeswoman said. “Our Customer Care Team reached out directly to the Customer and has not received a response. Our Employees work to carry out our Boarding policy for families traveling together, while also maintaining boarding priorities for all Customers.”