For several years, I’ve flown Us Airways as a non-revenue passenger because my aunt is a flight attendant. Before each flight, she always reminded me about the dress code that employees must adhere to when they’re flying as passengers, which is a business casual attire. This same business casual attire also applied to whomever is flying non-revenue on the employee’s buddy pass. I remember one time in particular as I was leaving the house to fly from Maryland to New Jersey, I had on a t-shirt and jeans, she made me change my outfit because they would have requested me to change at the airport or not allow me to board the flight. Needless to say, I made sure never to have my aunt remind me again about my non-revenue flight privileges and rules.
Unfortunately for MacCraig Warren and Miles Warren, someone didn’t inform them of the non-revenue/employee dress policy at Us Airways. The Warrens were both flying as non-revenue passengers after attending a family funeral. They were allegedly told that they had to change out of their hoodies, jeans, and baseball caps before they could board a first-class flight. The Warrens changed their outfits, but felt that they were being discriminated against, because they saw two other first class passengers in similar outfits, but one person was White and the other Filipino, and they were also paying customers. The Warrens are now suing US Airways for discrimination. Their lawsuit states that, “US Airways acted intentionally, maliciously, and with willful, callous, wanton and reckless disregard for Plaintiff’s statutorily protected rights and for the deleterious consequences and cruel and unjust hardship resulting to Plaintiffs from the conduct of US Airways.”
“It’s just discrimination, that’s it,” plaintiff’s attorney Rodney Diggs told TODAY.
In a response to the lawsuit, US Airways spokesperson Liz Landau told NBC News that preliminary investigation indicates that these were non-revenue passengers traveling as part of the employee travel program.
“We hold employees to a dress policy,” said Landau, which includes those traveling on employee passes, but, “We do not have a dress code for passengers.” Details of the dress policy are not public information, Landau said, but “employees are aware of the policy and they live up to the expectations.”
From my experience as a non-revenue passenger, it’s the responsibility of the employee to inform the person using their flying benefits about the dress code. I guess the Warrens didn’t receive that information.
The Warrens are suing for racial discrimination and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. They are also seeking punitive damages.