Alex Blaze

Don't ghetto-ize queer travellers, American Airlines!

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 17, 2007 9:55 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: American Airlines, marketing, travel

Check out what The Consumerist found on American Airlines website:american airlines.JPG
That's right - American Airlines has an LGBT search that doens't have as many options as the heterosexual search, including the option to search for children's airfares.

Not something to get up in arms about; it just makes ya think. You can see the full American Airlines LGBT site here. I'm seeing that the only differences are the more enfeebled search box, two kinda-could-be-interpreted-as-gay stock photos, and a little box to click on (in the screenshot above) to see a list of LGBT events, like the White Party and the GLAAD Media Awards.

Like, couldn't this have been accomplished by putting that little marketing box on the frontpage? I don't need to see four women with badminton rackets to buy a plane ticket. Please.

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I noticed this story over the weekend when AA rolled out their first Women's page. It was pink and frilly and didn't offer as many options either. (Gotta keep those women from stressing their pretty little heads, right? Right? Why'd it get so quiet?) Obviously, they quickly changed gears after some community outrage and switched over to the old search - and not pink.

So I wonder why we don't rate a full search either?

Jen Jorczak | April 17, 2007 4:02 PM

It is completely and undenably insulting that the LGBT and women's pages don't allow the user to choose as many options as the men's page. I don't understand how a company that won the HRC employment award, among others, doesn't get that.

I'm not saying niche marketing doesn't have its place--but we're talking about an airline here. Am I the only one who buys a ticket on whichever airline is gonna get me there the fastest and the cheapest?

Yes, Jen, I think you are the only one. Someone like me chooses the airline that he flies on by seeking out the most gay friendly one, something that I judge by the use of ambiguous stock photos. Several men in bathing suits talking? I'm sure that airline has more comfortable seats. A couple of women laughing on a couch watching a movie? That tells me that airline's planes fly faster.

More importantly, unless they have a separate page for a pillow-biter to use, I won't be able to complete the search. The original is heterosexually biased with all of its extra functions, functions that waste too much time for me since I search for flights in between blow jobs. That does not leave me much time to indicate whether I want to search by schedule or by fare.

This is more than niche marketing. This is radical queer separatism at its finest.