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View Full Version : GAY BASHING by US Airways Employee at PHL Airport


davidcifone
09-17-2011, 11:33 PM
My partner and I were recently the victims of a public gay bashing hate crime by a US Airways employee. On 09/09/2011 I flew from San Juan, PR to Philadelphia, PA aboard US Airways Flight #1072 to seek emergency medical treatment in the United States. Upon my arrival to Philadelphia, my luggage was lost, and when I went to file a missing baggage claim, this particular incident took place. I filed complaints with the US Dept of Transportation, as well as with US Airways and flyersrights.org, a aviation consumer advocacy group. I will outline below exactly what happened:

We landed in Philadelphia 10 minutes ahead of schedule on 9/9/2011 at 6:28PM. Shortly after landing, we made our way off the aircraft and over to the baggage claim Carousel #4 to wait for our luggage. Since this was a last minute trip, we only packed one large piece of luggage for him and I.

After waiting for quite some time at Carousel #4, it became apparent that our bag were indeed lost or routed elsewhere (there were a few other passengers from our flight with lost bags as well). I saw a woman from my flight approach a male baggage claim rep who was outside the office and ask him for assistance with her lost luggage. He asked her for her baggage claim ticket, and she told him she will call her husband (who was outside by the curb) and tell him to bring it in.

So in the meantime, while that woman passenger was on the phone calling her husband for him to bring her baggage ticket, the male baggage claim rep, who introduced himself very kindly as Peter, offered to assist me since he noticed my baggage claim ticket was in my hand. He took my ticket, then motioned me over to the desk where he said he would quickly file a claim for me. When he began typing my info into the computer, he asked the woman kindly to step aside while he helped me. At that moment, the female baggage claim rep who was seated next to peter, turned to Peter with a very disturbing dirty look and said "Are serious? SHE was first! You should be helping HER!" Peter answered her and said "I'm going to help this gentleman real quick while I wait for her ticket." Then the female responded very rudely, preceded by a loud sigh, "You are ridiculous, you know that? You are really ridiculous. You shouldn't be waiting on them! You are ridiculous!"

Having heard and seen enough, I said to her "you are being really unprofessional. You don't need to be speaking to him that way, especially in front of other customers." She then slammed her clipboard down on the desk and told me to "mind your fu**ing business, this has nothing to do with you, this is between me and him." I then told her "yes this does have something to do with me because you are arguing with him over helping me, and you are demeaning him in front of other customers."

At this point, she went wild, screaming and cursing unbelievably. I could barely get a word in edgewise because she was non-stop cursing at me. She called me "white trash," she called me "albino trash," she called me an "M&M wanna-be" (not quite sure what that is even supposed to mean), she said to me "you don't even look good, what are you an albino? You don't even know what race you are do you?" She told me "go sleep with your sister. You know you sleep with your sister." Then she looked over at my partner, and said "Oh wait, nevermind you a ******. Where's your boyfriend? That's your boyfriend ain't it, you dirty ******." At this point after enduring enough of her non-stop slew of insults, I couldn't take it, especially after her last insult which hit home very personally, since that IS my partner of 5 years and I was beyond offended. I told her she was "being a ghetto bitch" and that she "does not deserve this job." I told her "Go back on welfare. You don't belong working with the public. I'm calling corporate as soon as I get out of here. What's your name?" She then said "I'm not tellin' you sh*t! I'm one step ahead of you honey, I'm getting an officer over here right now." She then picked up the phone and dialed who I assumed to be security or the police. When she hung up the phone, she grabbed my baggage claim ticket off the counter and continued on cursing at me, telling me "You're the one with the lost bags (laughing)...I'll make sure you don't get your fu**ing bags back," as she copied the info from my ticket onto a blank piece of paper.

This whole time while she was shooting insults at me, I was trying to provide my info (address phone, phone number, etc) to Peter at the same time, who at this point STILL kept quiet and remained extremely professional. There were at least 4 or 5 other passengers inside the office listening to this as well.

Next, Peter printed out a "Delayed Baggage Receipt" and went to hand it to me. While he tried handing me this paper, the same woman who just verbally assaulted me lunged up from her seat and literally RIPPED the paper from Peter's and my hand. I still have the other ripped half, and a video on my cellphone of this taking place. Once she started to become physically violent, I decided to separate myself from this woman as quickly as possible, so I walked outside the office. Shortly thereafter, the police arrived and took down an incident report of what had just transpired.

Let me tell you, my partner and I have NEVER IN OUR ENTIRE LIVES been so publicly insulted, humiliated, degraded, and embarrassed. This was the last thing I had EVER expected to happen, especially at an airport. It was bad enough that I was already extremely ill and my luggage was lost; then I had to deal with being called a "******" and "white trash", among other things, in public by a US Airways employee. It is just unbelievable and unacceptable - I just still cannot believe it.

The fact that I have yet to hear back from ANYONE from US Airways is extremely frustrating and disappointing. I am still shaken every time I recount these events in my mind. I feel so alone, and I don't know who to turn to for help. I really want the LGBT community aware of this callous treatment and disregard toward gays from US Airways. If anyone can help me, or at least point me in the right direction, I would be more than grateful.

Thanks so much!

jimworcs
09-18-2011, 12:11 AM
You need to file a complaint with the police. Can you also post the video on youtube. You should be able to get something done here... You have witnesses and video, whcjph s more than most. I think some media outlets wod also be interested in ths story.

davidcifone
09-18-2011, 05:38 AM
Yes, I did file a report with the police. I am currently working with a consumer advocacy group, so hopefully when this hits the media, it grabs US Airways attention since they refuse to respond to ME as an individual.

azstar
09-18-2011, 05:05 PM
It would be nice to know that this rude woman was disciplined in some way, or terminated. However, IF anyone at US Airways even mentions this event to her she will say "he was rude" and they'll say, "Oh. Okay". However, there is a very high probability that no one at US Air will even bring your complaint to her attention, so you would probably be better off focusing on some other avenue of satisfaction, such as getting the word out to as many people as possible that US Air is gay hostile and should be avoided.

Gromit801
09-18-2011, 06:31 PM
It would be nice to know that this rude woman was disciplined in some way, or terminated. However, IF anyone at US Airways even mentions this event to her she will say "he was rude" and they'll say, "Oh. Okay". However, there is a very high probability that no one at US Air will even bring your complaint to her attention, so you would probably be better off focusing on some other avenue of satisfaction, such as getting the word out to as many people as possible that US Air is gay hostile and should be avoided.

Really? ONE person as specified in the complaint has issues, and you're saying the whole airline does? If the gentleman who had the bad experience wasn't gay, but rather a different race, the psycho baggage agent would have been using racial slurs. She has issues, and probably uses whatever insult will work. I hope the agent that was helping the OP will step up and report the behavior to the station manager.

To the OP, I suggest you send your complaint directly to the station manager, they're actually in the best position to deal with bad employees under their authority.

azstar
09-18-2011, 10:07 PM
That's exactly what I'm saying, Gromit801. The station manager is usually the LEAST likely person willing to deal with a problem employee!

jimworcs
09-19-2011, 02:52 AM
Why not post the video now on youtube? It has a good chance of going viral. That will get US Airways attention.

Just as an aside.... this woman sounds horrendously homophobic...but I would not generalise that to a whole airline. In fact, I can think of a lot more industries and companies which would be considered a lot more homophobic, than airlines and US Airways!

Not wishing to stereotype...but fashion, flight attendant's and stars of musicals.... strike me as industries with more than your average count of friends of dorothy.

Gromit801
09-19-2011, 04:33 PM
That's exactly what I'm saying, Gromit801. The station manager is usually the LEAST likely person willing to deal with a problem employee!

I disagree. You will have to search hard to find an airline station that doesn't have more than a few gay employees. That's not a stereotype. If a station manager finds they has a rabid, homophobic employee, it's going to cause him/her a lot of problems among their own employees, as well as possibly the union.

jimworcs
09-20-2011, 10:12 PM
If this really happened and it is recorded, the OP would have posted it on youtube by now. I suspect this may be exaggerated or fake...

Gromit801
09-21-2011, 04:15 PM
Thought I'd let you say it before I did. My BS detector went off at the start.

azstar
09-22-2011, 02:18 PM
If this really happened and it is recorded, the OP would have posted it on youtube by now. I suspect this may be exaggerated or fake...

It may be exaggerated or embellished but just because they didn't post it on youtube doesn't mean it didn't happen.