COTO DE CAZA, Calif. — A Southern California woman said she is the victim of discrimination, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Mary Campos said her pre-booked ticket was given away by United Airlines. The reason? She’s a woman, and two men didn’t want to sit next to a female.
A million-mile flier, Campos, a mom who lives in Coto de Caza, said she thought she’d seen it all – until a gate agent handed her a new boarding pass just before she got on a flight to Houston last Monday.
“He said, ‘This is your new seat,’” Campos said, “and I said, ‘Excuse me?’ And he said, ‘I don’t know how to tell you this.’”
She said she continued by saying, “Yes?”
And the agent told her, “The two gentlemen seated next to you have cultural beliefs that prevent them for sitting next to, talking to or communicating with females.”
She was shocked.
“I thought I lived in a culture where females were equal to men,” she said.
Campos is a senior consultant in the oil and gas industry.
She said she had no choice but to take her new seat assignment.
That’s when she said she wrote a letter to the CEO of United Airlines.
The letter said, in part, “What if I were handicapped or transgender? What if your entire flight 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. She said she didn’t hear from them again.
A company spokesperson wrote to CBS Los Angeles, in part: “We regret that Ms. Campos was unhappy with the handling of the seat assignments on her flight. United holds our employees to the highest standards of professionalism and has zero tolerance for discrimination.”
Campos was told the men were Pakistani monks who were wearing long orange shirts. She said the female flight crew was not allowed to serve the men.
“We can’t discriminate against half the population,” Campos said, “for a belief from another nation.”
CBS Los Angeles asked Campos if she intended on suing the airline, and she said that was not her intention. But she did want two things from United:
- Apologize to every female that was on that plane, including their employees.
- Change their policy.
Campos said if she didn’t get those things, she would do whatever she had to do to protect women’s rights.