Gay Kissing Threat on American Airlines Flight 45!

Weave a circle around you thrice and shut your eyes with holy dread. Those gay guys in the row ahead of you are kissing on the airplane!

George Tsikhiseli and Stephan Varnier were coming back from an amorous vacation in South Africa on American Airlines Flight 45 when a stewardess with “Texas hair, like from the nineteen-sixties” advanced upon them and told them to knock off all that gay stuff. Orders of the purser.

So they called the purser. The purser hadn’t said anything like that at all, and rolled her eyes when the stewardess was identified. She assured them there was no problem at all and that their contact (which apparently was just fond, idle pecking) was appropriate.

But Tsikhiseli and Varnier pushed forward, questioning whether or not this was a heterosexual conspiracy against them. At which point, the purser went frigid, and the Captain eventually called them up to the cockpit to tell them that if they didn’t stop arguing about it, they’d have the plane diverted and met at the gate by the Anti-Gay Police.

American Airlines claims the entire thing wasn’t about them being gay, but exactly how far they shoved their tongues down each other’s throat holes. But an American Airlines CSR named Terri said no one cares about that either: “[We] just don’t want you to go into the bathrooms together.”

Air Kiss [New Yorker]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Special K says:

    that gay stuff is nasty. we’ve got enough AIDS as it is

  2. Itch says:

    I have to actually say the couple might have aggrevated thier situation. The purser most likely felt like they were being backed into a corner with the “request if the kissers had been a man and a woman”.

    Most people are easy going when treated like people. At the same time when questions are asked on a professional level it changes the tone. It makes the person a spokesperson for the company, which may have tighter rules such as no excessive PDA.

    I am not saying the couple deserved it. Quite the contrary. Sounds like the orginal stewardess was a bit of reject, to which the purser agrees. Its just when push comes to shove the purser had to side with company policy.

  3. Law-Vol says:

    The purser’s reaction speaks volumes. Clearly it’s NOT AA’s policy to restrict gay PDA, but a mere hangup of an (obviously notorious) homophobe. The boys deserve some derision, however, for tossing off a hetero-conspiracy theory. After the purser rolled her eyes, I’d have said “thanks” and returned to my necking. That way there’s no federal case and the original FA looks even more like an idiot.

  4. DeeJayQueue says:

    special K, whether you’re kidding or not (which i sincerely hope that you are) there’s no need for that kind of comment here or anywhere.

    Gays struggle for equality and acceptance every day. Sometimes though you have to pick your battles. I don’t think they needed to make such a big deal over it, but I can’t see how the airline could have handled things any worse. Something about this just doesn’t checksum.

  5. Elara says:

    Sounds like the Purser was sympathetic and that this particular stewardess may have caused issues before. But the couple’s pressing of the conspiracy against gays thing just aggravated the situation and made someone (the purser, in this case) who was originally on their side immediately throw up barriers. The stewardess was a witch, yes, but alienating and harassing people that are clearly in your corner is not going to get you a good reaction.

  6. Anonymously says:

    I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t know what a purser is. Not that it matters I guess.

  7. Bluefreak says:

    The purser is simply the lead flight attendant; such a position usually exists only on international flights, or is simply called the lead flight attendant on some airlines.

    It was originally used to designate the lead customer service individual on an ocean liner and cruise ships (think Gopher on “The Love Boat”), and the term carried over to the airline industryback in the 20s and 30s.

  8. Antediluvian says:

    The fact that there were witnesses who corroborated the couple’s version of events is important to remember.

    Someone is lying: the flight attendant said the purser asked the guys to stop, the purser said she ask nothing of the sort.

    It’s completely appropriate for the couple to ask the purser the “if it were a man & woman” question.

    The captain, who was busy flying a plane, was more than likely responding to minimal information as passed on by his crew (“2 passengers are becoming disruptive” was probably how the story was related to him, not “the damn queers are getting uppity again”).

    I have a problem with the initial flight attendant (what’s w/ all the “stewardess” language?) abusing her authority.

    And if I fly American (which is a gay-friendly corporation), I sure as hell will kiss my hubby as often as I feel like.

  9. Purser – you know, Gopher from the Love Boat?

    As for public displays of affection, I don’t care how hot and sexy they are, sometimes too much is too much.

  10. acceptablerisk says:

    From the limited information here, it seems as if the individuals in question wanted a scene. The issue seems as if it was resolved after the head stewardess told them that everything was fine. I know my demeanor would probably change if somebody I was defending suddenly turned around and threw it back in my face.

  11. Pelagius says:

    Because there are no homosexuals in the flight attendant industry…

  12. Frankly, when they threatened to divert the flight to deal with the gays, I would have continued to act in precisely the same manner I had before. Airlines have classically gone bonkers and done shit like strap people into their seats for very little reason, and I assume that either they would try and pull some of that or they would really take the plane down. As it is, this is some anecdote in the New Yorker. Can you IMAGINE the headlines if they diverted? The public backlash would be gigantic and I suspect the couple might have cause for suit. Hell, the people on the plane could probably get together a class action. That’d be pretty fun.

  13. MattyMatt says:

    I agree, it was unneccessary for them to ask if they’d been singled out for being gay. Because it was already obvious enough that the answer is yes.

  14. adamondi says:

    There is definitely a line of appropriate public behavior, whether straight, gay, or otherwise. I wouldn’t want my kid to see anyone making out on a plane, no matter who they were. Just the same as I don’t want to see anyone making out on a bus, the subway, or on a sidewalk. People need to relearn the whole concept of public behavior versus private behavior. There has been way too much blurring of the lines in recent years.

    Trying to make this a gay issue is similar to how some people try to make everything a racial issue or a gender discrimination issue. Most of the time, it is simply a matter of whether something is appropriate or not when it comes to PDAs. It has nothing to do with sexual preference.

  15. Kangarara says:

    Does anyone else think it’s odd that apparently this is an easy way to get into the cockpit of an airplane?

    Good thing those scary Muslims are anti-gay, huh? ;) (totally, utterly kidding with the stereotyping)

  16. Antediluvian says:

    They weren’t “making out” in public, they were exchanging kisses in public. It wasn’t foreplay for the Mile High Club.

  17. Demingite says:

    I agree that the first comment here is uncalled for.

    I saw a male-female pair do much more than kiss on a flight, and the employees pretended not to see. It must be a difficult situation for some employees to confront such a situation. Do you say, “Excuse me, having oral sex under that blanket is inconsiderate to people around you” – ?

  18. “Because it was already obvious enough that the answer is yes.”

    It was also obvious enough, frankly, that the purser thought the complaint was absolutely ridiculous and was sympathetic to the fact that these guys had been unfairly called out. But they pressed it anyway, trying to get her to admit that an American Airlines attendant was acting towards them with prejudice, which made her freak because now she was dealing with a potential situation that could have just been resolved by them going, “Ignore her? She’s an idiot? Okay!”

    It’s clear to me that under no circumstances were these guys willing to let this go. That excuses nothing of what follows, but it’s a good example of escalating a situation when a resolution is already right in front of you.

  19. hongista says:

    I think just reading the blog above barely scratches the surface. The New Yorker article shows how truly out of line the crew of the flight were. Also, it sheds light on how the new US airline regulations have become very rigid in ways that have nothing to do with terrorism. US Arlines have become the most uncomfortable to fly on, for more than just one reason. I have seen everything from blankets being taken from pregnant women to give to first class passengers, to people being denied going to the bathroom during a 6-hour sit after inching the plane away from the gate.

    Invariably, nonsense excuses are given just as in this case–“A spokesman for American, said that the stewardess’s injunction to the men was reasonable, and would have been made whether the couple was gay or straight. “Our passengers need to recognize that they are in an environment with all ages, backgrounds, creeds, and races. We have an obligation to make as many of them feel as comfortable as possible,” he said.”

    Which makes me wonder–last year I flew on a plane showing “Shark Tale” and the two fish characters kissing. If fish can kiss on a plane, surely gay people can too.

  20. Keira says:

    No doubt the Homosexual Agenda is hand-in-hand with the Teacher’s Unions, who are unwilling to stop children from reading metaphysical poetry. I wouldn’t doubt for a second that these gentlemen had a copy of Donne with them at the time of the incident.

    TSA, take note.

  21. Neenerpants says:

    “that gay stuff is nasty. we’ve got enough AIDS as it is”

    Please tell me you are kidding and you are really honestly not that incredibly naive.

    I think someone who lives under a rock realizes that AIDS is not a “gay thing”.

    Just ask the 20 – 30+% of the population of parts of Africa that has HIV/AIDS (

    And lets not forget the raping of newborn babies. It is considered a status symbol in some countries to sleep with a virgin. When these newborns are old enough to speak (if they live), they can tell you how they contracted AIDS themselves.

    Read facts before you put your uneducated thoughts out there. There are a lot of educated people who are smart enough to get the facts and they might just throw it in your face.


  22. crankygeek says:

    What level of rocket science does it take to get a clue? You make a point to shock people, you get a reaction. Get over it and find something better to whine about.

  23. You make a point to shock people, you get a reaction.

    Look, just because you find something shocking doesn’t mean they did it just to shock you. There’s no reason to think that they kissed for any other reason than they wanted to kiss. If you think that everyone’s actions are motivated by how you would react to them, perhaps you are the one that needs to get over themself.