No gAAys on AA
2006-09-21 17:48:48 UTC
September 20, 2006
American Airlines rebukes gay couple
An American Airlines captain reportedly threatened to divert a flight
from Paris to New York after a gay couple complained about how they
were treated by the flight crew, The New Yorker reported on Monday.
According to a "Talk of the Town" item in the magazine's September 25
issue, now posted on its Web site, TV journalist George Tsikhiseli and
his boyfriend of four months, writer Stephan Varnier, were told by a
stewardess to stop their "touching and the kissing" not long into
American Airlines Flight 45 from Charles de Gaulle to JFK on August
22. The couple said they were doing nothing inappropriateperhaps a
peck on the cheek, a head on the other's shouldera story backed up by
the two passengers seated behind them and another across the aisle.
When they asked to see the purserwhom the stewardess claimed had
issued the orderthe purser said she knew nothing about the incident
and initially agreed that their behavior had not been inappropriate,
the men and witnesses reported. But she returned later to say that
other passengers had complained about the men's affectionate gestures.
When the gay couple asked who had complained, asked to speak with an
American Airlines representative upon landing, and asked for the
stewardess's name and employee number, the purser told them to drop
the matter or the flight would be diverted, the magazine reported.
An hour later, the purser asked Tsikhiseli to meet the captain in a
galley, and the captain repeated the threat to divert the airplane if
the men continued to "argue" with the crew, according to The New
A spokesman for the airline backed up the flight crew's behavior and
said their complaints to the men had nothing to do with the fact that
they were a gay couple. "Our understanding is that the level of
affection was more than a quick peck on the cheek, he told the