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United Airlines Flight Attendants File Discrimination Lawsuit

— November 1, 2023

The two flight attendants claim that they were replaced with younger, more attractive hostesses following a demand from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Two United Airlines flight attendants have filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming they were denied positions aboard Los Angeles Dodgers charter flights after the team said that its players preferred young, attractive, and predominately white air hostesses.

According to CBS News, the lawsuit was filed earlier this week in a Los Angeles County Superior Court.

In their complaint, the flight attendants say the United intentionally removed “minority female flight attendants” from most of its Dodgers charter flights, replacing them with “young White thin women who did not have to interview for the highly coveted positions.”

The complaint asserts that United Airlines engaged in in blatant racism, discrimination, and antisemitism.

One of the plaintiffs identified in the lawsuit, Darby Quezada, is of both black and Jewish descent. She claims that she was referred to as a “flight maid” because the Dodgers needed “a Mexican to clean the bathrooms.”

Quezada also says that she was told to stop speaking Spanish with a Dodgers player, because “we are in America.”

A United Airlines plane; image by Cliff (originally posted to Flickr as United Airlines), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons, no changes.
A United Airlines plane; image by Cliff (originally posted to Flickr as United Airlines), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons, no changes.

Beyond these comments, Quezada claims she was harassed for being part Jewish, with players or employees making comments along the lines of, “You know [that] Jesus died for you even if you don’t believe.”

Todd and her co-defendant, Dawn Todd, said that they were initially chosen to be part of the Dodgers’ charter team. However, their assignments were eventually denied by United, with both women saying they noticed that their replacements were almost exclusively less-experienced white women.

“I looked at the list and that’s when they added three blonde-haired, blue-eyed, Caucasian individuals,” Quezada said.

Attorneys for Todd and Quezada say that, while the Dodgers are not listed as a defendant, it appears that United’s changes were made based on feedback from the team’s athletes.

“There’s either discrimination against them specifically because they were demoted, and we need to understand why, because they have perfect records, employment records here,” said attorney Sam S. Yebri. “Or the system is broken. Either the Dodgers were making decisions and United was deferring to them, or—what we know is it was not random.”

Yebri also issued an additional, explanatory statement.

“Major [American] corporations like United Airlines must understand that it is illegal to make staffing decisions based on an employee’s race and looks, even if it is meant to please major clients like the Los Angeles Dodgers,” the statement said. “United’s blatantly discriminatory staffing decisions allowed the cancer of racism and antisemitism to metastasize on the flights themselves.”

The lawsuit seeks a trial by jury and unspecified damages.


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