Southwest, you have lost 20 years of the flying public's goodwill: the incident itself lost you 10 years.
And you'd better get the damage control team busy putting a muzzle on Brian Lusk: he lost another 10 years by self-righteously pointing out the problem of a lady in a short skirt sitting down in front of a TV camera. Unless I'm mistaken, there aren't cameras in front of airplane seats...except perhaps on Air Islam.
Since when does a male flight attendant run the airplane? Where was the captain or the station manager? Doesn't anybody in San Diego know how to pick up the telephone and ask for guidance?
What's *not* politically correct is a Southwest employee imposing one individual's opinion on your customers.
Ms. Licuanan's observation that "the way you dress reflects your personality" is one step away from the "She was asking for it 'cause she looked sexy" rape defense. "Old school" is your black next-door deighbor kids forced to attend another school in the crummy part of town. And I'm not going to kill any electrons by explaining to Ms. Licuanan that "character" and "personality" are unrelated concepts.
If Ms. Ebbert's attire didn't interfere with flight crew operations (it didn't) and if a sworn officer didn't consider it "illegal" (none did), Southwest has a lot of explaining to do. It's likely you'll be sued for a violation of her civil rights.
Personally, I think Southwest's drink coupons are a considerably bigger morality issue than a short skirt. There are drunk pilots and drunk flight attendants ("for your safety"). Booze has damaged more families than short skirts.
When did a short skirt cause a safety problem? Were passengers jostling for a seat next to her?
The Southwest culture of hugging and kissing could be construed to be...OH NO! SEX ON A PLANE! Oops-sorry, you can't do that either. Sigh.
The airline industry provides awful customer service (Southwest may be near the top of the heap but it's a stinky heap). I applaud throwing a drunk off the plane but when FA's bounce somebody for copping an attitude...well, it's stuff like this, and being held hostage on a ramp-bound plane for 8 hours, that makes me an ex-business traveller. I get just as much done, and my business saves money, by using video conferencing.
Do you notice that I'm not complaining about anything but service? The TSA is a joke and we don't have any control over the price of jet fuel, but it's pointless to complain.
Anywhere I need to go, I can use Delta, Alaska, Hawaiian, or Southwest. I look forward to a full and complete apology from Colleen to Ms. Ebbert, an unsolicited (confidential) settlement offer, and a published policy on the authority of flight attendants on matters other than those related to the safety of the aircraft, passengers, and crew.
We expect better, Southwest.
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