A few weeks ago, an American Airlines flight attendant made the news for wearing a “Black Lives Matter” button while in uniform. A passenger posted a picture of the flight attendant on American Airlines’ Facebook page, which was taken down since it contains the photo of an AA employee. American did acknowledge the situation, and offered to look into the issue, but their response solicited polarized responses. There was quite a discussion on One Mile at a Time, regarding whether American handled the situation appropriately.
Well, another flight attendant has made the news ffor wearing a (slightly different) “Black Lives Matter” button. Fox 13 News of Tampa reported that a Spirit Airlines flight attendant wore a button that said, “Black Lives Matter, White Supremacists Kill” while working for a flight. A passenger on the flight, Robert Coyle, was offended by the button, and raised his concerns with the flight attendant, saying “all lives matter.” According to Coyle, the flight attendant then said, “I disagree with you, I disagree with you on so many levels,” and then stated that she could not discuss politics while in uniform.
Coyle also took a picture of the flight attendant, which he agreed to delete (but later recovered) after being asked by the Spirit employee. However, after the interaction, the flight attendant in question stopped her safety demonstration. She walked to the front of the aircraft, and asked the pilot to head back to the gate so Coyle could be booted off the flight.
Spirit Airlines acknowledged that the flight attendant broke the airline’s uniform policy, which prohibits anything “political, religious, or inflammatory.” The airline offered Coyle an undisclosed undisclosed compensation, and disciplined the flight attendant (without disclosing details). The airline also issued this statement:
Spirit Airlines is proud of a diverse workplace with team members of many different backgrounds and beliefs. We are committed to providing a fun, friendly, and relaxed experience to all of our customers. While we appreciate that Spirit employees have a wide range of personal views, the expression of those views should not interfere with their ability to provide a positive customer experience when in uniform and on duty. The photo indicates the Flight Attendant was not in compliance with our uniform policy. We have addressed this with the flight attendant and have spoken with Mr. Coyle regarding this unfortunate situation.