September 12, 2020 | 4:07pm | Updated September 12, 2020 | 8:03pm
Maybe they should change their slogan to “Fly the Friendly — and very white — Skies.”
United Airlines packs its planes with young, white, blond, blue-eyed female crew — all chosen for their “sexual allure” — whenever the National Football League and Major League Baseball take charter flights, a new lawsuit alleges.
Meanwhile, flight attendants who are too old and too dark are barred from the plum routes, according to Bloomberg News, which reported the suit on Saturday.
So they get none of the perks that go with the sports-team flights, including higher salaries, premium accommodations, complementary tickets and “extremely valuable” infield passes, according to the lawsuit.
The suit was filed Friday in California by two flight attendants, a black woman who has worked for the airline for 28 years and a Jewish woman who has worked there for 34 years.
They say they have asked repeatedly to be assigned to the sports charter flights, which ferry NFL and MLB teams along with National Collegiate Athletic Association players and staff.
But in turning down their requests, supervisors would say the two were not on “preferred” lists that are based on team preferences, the lawsuit says.
The attendants, Sharon Tesler and Kim Guillory, later discovered that the assignments were being given to “young, white, blond/blue-eyed, female employees” with less seniority, the lawsuit says.
These preferred employees are valued “entirely on their racial and physical attributes, and stereotypical notions of sexual allure,” the suit says.
“United has created a despicable situation,’ the women said in the suit.
It’s “as if decades of laws and policies preventing discrimination based on age, race and ancestry, and gender simply do not exist.”
The airline issued this response:
“United Airlines is proud of our track record on diversity, equity and inclusion.
“While we cannot comment on this ongoing litigation, the flight attendants included in our sports team charter program are largely representative of our overall flight attendant population in regards to age and race.
“Importantly, flight attendant eligibility to work a charter flight is based solely on performance and attendance and has nothing to do with age, race or gender.”