Lawsuit: United Airlines fills NFL charter flights with young, blonde female attendants

Cassandra Negley
·Writer
·2 min read

United Airlines fills its NFL and fellow sports charter flights with “young, white, blond/blue-eyed, female employees” over anyone else, according to a lawsuit filed Friday by two veteran attendants.

The lawsuit alleges that the company values its workers based “entirely on their racial and physical attributes, and stereotypical notions of sexual allure,” per the lawsuit reported by Bloomberg’s Robert Burnson.

The discrimination case was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo.

NFL charter assignments discriminate, attendants say

Sharon Tesler and Kim Guillory said in the lawsuit they tried to get assigned to work sports charter flights. One of them is a Black woman who has been with United for 28 years and the other a Jewish woman with 34 years at the company.

They were told by supervisors, per the report, that they would not be assigned to them because they weren’t on “preferred” lists based on team preferences.

They later found out that the women on the lists were all young, white and blond with less seniority, per Bloomberg.

United Airlines “has adopted and continues to implement procedures that are designed to ensure that young, white, blond/blue-eyed, female employees receive positions with the charter program, while more senior, and Black and Jewish employees such as plaintiffs, do not,” they said in the complaint.

They are seeking monetary damages.

United: Sports charter work assigned based on performance

United Airlines has charter flight contracts with NFL teams. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
United Airlines has charter flight contracts with NFL teams. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

United Airlines released a comment on Saturday, via Bloomberg:

“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 company 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.”

It also told Bloomberg the average age of flight attendants on its sports team charters is 46 years old with an average tenure of 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,” per Bloomberg.

The numbers are for all of its charters, which are comprised of NFL, MLB and NCAA teams. They are better assignments than regular flights since attendants earn more money and can receive perks such as prime tickets and infield passes.

The NFL season kicked off Thursday with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs topping the Houston Texans. The first full day of games is Sunday.

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