United Airlines has apologized after a flight attendant accused a gay father of having his hands “too close” to his son’s genitals.
Henry Amador-Batten and husband Joel were disembarking a United flight at Raleigh-Durham International Airport with their 5-year-old son late last week when a flight attendant made the ‘completely unfounded’ accusation.
In a Facebook post on DADsquared, Joel said: “Tonight my husband was detained after disembarking a United flight to RDU because a member of the flight crew made an accusation that my husband’s hand/arm laying across my sleeping son’s lap was too close to the ‘child’s genitals’.”
Joel continued: “After being made to feel like a criminal in front of other passengers as they exited the plane my husband filed a report of his own mentioning that the male flight attendant that must have accused him had treated him oddly in flight, and was promptly sent on his way. This is the icing on the cake for a man who has spent nearly the last two weeks in Puerto Rico dealing with his father’s quick decline and subsequent death.”
He adds: “This is not how anyone deserves to be treated. This is not something that should have happened in front of my son. This is not something that anyone should have to worry about happening to them on a flight just because someone might not like the looks of them. My husband and I are parents. We are foster parents. We are in the process of adopting our second son. We are mandatory reports for any abuses that we might suspect are going on with children that we may come into contact with. This misguided man’s assumptions about my husband and the accusations that he made are completely unfounded and we plan on getting up bright and early in the morning to make as much fucking noise about this as I possibly can.”
Henry said a United Airlines representative called him and asked to keep it ‘low key’ as they have a ‘lot of bad press recently’, reports Metro.
A United Airlines spokesperson has issued an apology on behalf of the airline: “Our customers should always be treated with the utmost respect. We have followed up with the customer directly and we apologized for the situation.”
The couple now plans to take legal action against United after receiving the unsatisfactory apology.
“Based on the horrible situation that they placed him in front of their son and other people on the plane, we are going to vigorously pursue to be compensated by the airline for this horrible embarrassing treatment,” said their lawyer, Kenneth Padowitz.