Gay parents call out airline for discrimination after being made to board plane separately

The couple believe they’ve been discriminated against. Stock photo. [Photo: Getty]

A gay couple have called an airline out for discrimination after being told only one of them could board a flight early with their 19-month-old daughter – even though straight parents with children were permitted to board together.

Jeff Cobb, his husband and daughter were flying from San Francisco to Taipei when the alleged incident took place.

As parents travelling with an infant they joined the priority boarding queue, but were reportedly told by staff that only one parent could board the plane early.

Taking to Twitter, the dad explained about the incident: “My husband and I were told only one of us could join our 19-month-old in the family boarding group of EVA Air 27 from SFO on 9/1/18.

“I explained we were both the fathers of the child, and they said it was their policy that only one parent can board and the other has to wait in the normal line.”

Jeff went on to say that he hadn’t flown with the airline before and didn’t know about its policies on early boarding.

“I accepted it and let my husband and child go while I boarded later.”

But when eventually joined his family on board, his husband said the policy didn’t seem to extend to heterosexual couples.

“When I met him on the plane, he said there were many other (straight) families all boarding together.”

“I’m very disappointed that the EVA ground staff at SFO thinks it’s ok to separate same-sex families during boarding. I will definitely not be flying this airline again after this incident,” he added.

Only one of the dads was allowed to board the plane with his child. Stock photo. [Photo: Getty]

Following the furore, EVA Air has since apologised, describing the “unfortunate incident” as a “misunderstanding”.

“EVA Air and most especially our San Francisco International Airport team sincerely apologise to all the passengers affected by this incident,” a spokesperson said.

“It is our policy that passengers travelling with infants can have priority boarding.

“The policy does not limit the number of accompanying adults or specify the relationship to the infant.

“This unfortunate incident was due to misunderstanding.“

The spokesperson went on to add: “Our San Francisco ground-handling agent understood that only one parent could board with an infant.

“We have apologised to our passengers and reminded our airport staff and agents about our priority boarding policy so that we can prevent this kind of incident from happening again.”

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