Hailey, 40, tweeted that a flight attendant had told her that Southwest “was a ‘family’ airline and kissing was not ok”, and that she and her companion were then “escorted off the plane for getting upset about the issue”.
“SouthwestAir endorses homophobic employees,” Hailey tweeted. “Since when is showing affection towards someone you love illegal? I want to know what Southwest Airlines considers a ‘family.'”
Hailey, who starred on Showtime network’s The L-Word as Alice, a bisexual magazine writer and radio host, also demanded a public apology.
The airline issued a statement saying initial reports it received about the incident “indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterising the behaviour as excessive”.
“Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behaviour and not gender,” the airline said. “The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight.”
The statement concluded: “We regret any circumstance where a passenger does not have a positive experience on Southwest and we are ready to work directly with the passengers involved to offer our heartfelt apologies for falling short of their expectation.”
The incident comes a little over three weeks after another celebrity, Green Day rocker Billie Joe Armstrong, complained he was booted from a Southwest flight in Oakland, California, because he was wearing his baggy pants too low.
At least kissing and baggy pants are a refreshing change from celebrities urinating in the aisles on aircraft.