An Orange County mom, Mary Campos, said United Airlines discriminated against her by changing her pre-assigned seat because two Muslim men refused to sit next to a female.
Just before Campos got on her pre-booked flight to Houston, a gate agent handed her a new boarding pass, saying, “This is your new seat.”
Campos said, “Excuse me?”.
The agent said, “I don’t know how to tell you this. The two gentlemen seated next to you have cultural beliefs that prevent them from sitting next to, or talking to or communicating with females.”
Campos was shocked.
She told CBS LA: “I thought I lived in a culture [America] where women were equal to men. We can’t discriminate against half the population for a belief from another nation.”
Campos was told the two men in long orange shirts were Pakistani “monks” and that the female UA flight crew were not allowed to serve the men.
Campos, a million-mile flier, said she had no choice but to take her new seat assignment. Then she wrote a letter to the CEO of United Airlines, which said, in part:
“What if I were handicapped, or transgender? What if your entire crew were female? Any belief that prevents individuals from interacting with females should not travel on commercial aircraft.”
She got a reply that said United would look into it, but she didn’t hear from them again.
CBS LA made inquiries and received this communication from UA spokesman Jonathan Guerin:
“We regret that Ms. Campos was unhappy with the handling of the seat assignments on her flight. United holds its employees to the highest standards of professionalism and has zero tolerance for discrimination.”
Campos said she wants two things from United:
- Apologize to every female who was on that plane, including United Airlines’ employees.
- Change their policy.
If UA is not forthcoming, Campos said she would do whatever she had to do to protect women’s rights.
On October 11, 2017, Orange County supervisors announced it will not award additional flights for next year to United Airlines or any airlines at John Wayne Airport until they promise to follow federal laws that prohibit gender, race and age discrimination.
CBS LA reported:
Orange County supervisors Tuesday announced it will not award additional flights for next year to United Airlines or any airlines at John Wayne Airport until they promise to follow federal laws that prohibit gender, race and age discrimination.
The move came after Mary Campos claimed a gate agent moved her from her seat on a United Airlines flight out of John Wayne Airport last month because two monks refused to sit next to her claiming their religion forbids them from sitting next to a female.
“She was reassigned her seat because she’s a woman. When we found out about that I know all of us – we’re very offended by that,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “I’ll be darned if I’m going to allow women to be moved to back of that plane like Rosa Parks was during the civil rights movement. That’s not going to happen in Orange County.”
“I applaud Orange County Board of Supervisor. That’s awesome. And I think that’s the kind of stance all airports need to take to make sure that airlines are enforcing the same kind of policy,” Campos told CBS2/KCAL9’s Stacey Butler Tuesday night.
She said United still has not reached out to her to apologize and has not mentioned anything about changing its policy. So she said she will keep up this fight.
“The toughest part is that to date, United still hasn’t had anything more than canned responses. I’m not going to let it go because our daughters and other females deserve that,” Campos added.
“What would happen if you had an all-female flight attendant crew?” Board Chairwoman Lisa Bartlett asked. “What if there were female pilots and co-pilots? This goes way beyond discrimination of passengers. We’re talking about personnel on the flights.”
Kudos to Mary Campos for fighting back against discrimination. She should have sued United Airlines because lawsuits seem to be the only language UA and other businesses understand.
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