United Airlines is currently investigating a complaint from a male couple that claims an airline manager used a gay slur after a heated exchange at Denver International Airport.
Billy Canu and his partner say they were treated rudely when asked about the United lounge at Denver International Airport on Saturday. Both Gold Members with United/Star Alliance, they had entered several other lounges before when traveling in Gold status.
As Canu describes in a Facebook post:
We went to customer service and the line was empty. My partner and walked to the front of the rope and stood there waiting, there were four staff behind the desk (1 male, 3 female) and one male stood beside them. We were initially ignored as all five were chatting to each other... A lady (whose name we did not take) then proceeded to 'help.' We asked what the difference was with the Gold access to the lounges, but she could not help. She simply told us that Gold access was for international only as 'those tickets cost more' in a very condescending tone. Eventually the gentleman to the side of the desk explained the difference, that there are open wide access Gold lounges and United members clubs. What we had tried to enter was a members club.
Realizing the mistake, Canu claims he apologized; however, the conversation escalated when he says the United worker used a condescending tone.
According to Canu, a manager named Rodney Hill then came over and told the couple, It's time for you men to leave, threatening that they would be removed from the airport and would be unable to fly.
After another heated exchange, the couple says Hill followed them away from the United desk and called them idiots before confronting them, saying what faggots?
We were completely shocked. We were shaking, Canu told Denver's 7NEWS on Sunday.
Fearing that they would not be allowed on the flight, they instead took to Twitter and Facebook to complain about what happened.
Canu and his partner seek an apology from the airline and United is currently investigating the claims.
United does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, United airline spokeswoman Megan McCarthy told 7News. We have received this complaint and are reviewing, and we will reach out to the customer directly.
In September, lesbian actress Leisha Hailey, star of the Showtime series The L-Word, claimed she was escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight for kissing a woman. The airline countered that it was her language and abrasive behavior, not her sexual orientation, that got her kicked off the flight.