A lawsuit filed on Friday against United Airlines alleges the airline only allowed young, blonde, female flight attendants to staff NFL charter flights.
The lawsuit was filed by two flight attendants, a Jewish woman with 34 years of tenure, and a Black woman who has worked with United for 28 years. They say they made multiple unsuccessful attempts to be assigned to work on the charter flights. The lawsuit alleges that United Airlines made decisions on who would staff NFL charter flights based "entirely on their racial and physical attributes, and stereotypical notions of sexual allure," according to the flight attendants.
"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," the airline said. "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."
According to the lawsuit, United has contracts to provide air travel for roughly three dozen teams in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and National Collegiate Athletic Association. Attendants working those flights earn more, are provided with premium accommodations, and may also be provided with tickets to games, as well as "extremely valuable" infield passes.
In response, United Airlines has claimed that the average age of flight attendants on its sports teams charters is 46, that the average tenure of these flight attendants exceeds 19 years, and that it has a higher percentage of African Americans in its sports team charter program than in its overall flight attendant population.
This case is Guillory v. United Airlines, Inc, 20-civ-03889, in Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo.
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