SKAirbus From Norway, joined Oct 2007, 1737 posts, RR: 1 Posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 12451 times:
Just had a thought. Gay and lesbian crew members (flight crew and cabin crew) are often required by their employers to fly to countries with few or no LGBT rights where penalities can be severe. These may include Saudi Arabia, Iran and a number of African states where homosexuality can be punished with the death penalty.
Do any airlines have provisions that (at the request of said crew) will route them to less hostile countries? This could be both out of concerns for personal safety and accounting for moral objections.
I would imagine some carrier do allow this and other should at the very least supply behavioral guidelines - what you can/can't/should/shouldn't do in some places but I really have no idea as I am neither LGBT nor crew.
SCQ83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 937 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 12142 times:
This is so funny, because I know of one major European carrier for which most (if not all) of their male flight attendants (and some times I have even encountered pilots) to Saudi Arabia (and they used to stay there for a few days when flying into the country, it was not a quick turn around) were gay. And the fact that they were gay was also obvious when they were on duty (I used to fly those two routes frequently and I knew them from various "resources").
Obviously they "chose" to fly to Saudi Arabia (I wonder if they had a premium in terms of salary/rest days to fly to a destination like that). For a few days, Saudi Arabia is probably a more appealing (or less of a hassle) for a gay flight attendant. A female FA will have to walk around (outside hotels) with this burka and a straight male FA (if there is any) will get pissed off with the sex separations. Also, Saudi Arabia can be quite of an hostile place for a beautiful young Western FA (many young locals do not have - to say something - much sex so they will easily hassle a Western woman; I think CX had problems on that sense in a hotel in RUH in the past).
Those guys (in their own words) liked flying to Saudi to relax for a couple of days in the beach (if they are in the right city), doing some shopping (plenty of malls everywhere), and they don't have any prohibition in terms of meeting another single guys (whether they are locals or foreigners as well), whatever that means
migair54 From Spain, joined Jun 2007, 1722 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11940 times:
Should anything happen they will be kick out of the country not sentence to death or prison, but first of all they know where they are and the kind of behavior they have to avoid and act accordingly, not because in your country you can get married to another person of the same sex or act normally in the street, that means that you can do everywhere.
I guess they can refuse to go, i don´t think anyone will force them but common sense is usually enough.
And in case of doubt always remember that ignorance in no defense, so don´t do things that might jeopardize your own safety.
Many homosexual cabin crew in Qatar, Emirates, Etihad, Turkish....
longhauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4980 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11776 times:
Canadian employees have "The Right to Refuse Dangerous Work". If a crew member feels he will be in any danger flying a certain route, he can exercise that right.
That right notwithstanding, crew members are taught sensitivity training. Things that are perfectly acceptable in Canada, are not acceptable in other places, and crew members are expected to exercise restraint and respect other country's cultures.
YYZYYT From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 11701 times:
Quoting longhauler (Reply 9): Yes, but often if a "danger" is perceived, then that "danger" route goes to the bottom in seniority.
Yes, I can see how that would happen.
But for the majority of crews, would countries like Saudi Arabia be perceived that way? My gut instinct is that routes such as that would be more desirable, but I guess that is informed by (i) the fact that I am sitting here in North America, and perceive those as "glamorous" international routes... and (ii) my personal view that I would like to visit some of the p laces tossed about in prior posts...
Are there any such routes that are longhaul, foreign destinations where crew get "stuck" because of a perceived danger?
mcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1466 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11684 times:
Perhaps the lgbt crowd should choose careers that don't present them with this potential. If I were afraid of heights I would apply for a job as a tight rope walker.
This is a ridiculous thread. Sexual orientation should not grant any special rights. I don't flaunt my own heterosexuality and thus don't feel it appropriate for others to flaunt their orientation. We are work professionals and should act in that manner.
If I fly to the Middle East and can't have a drink of alcohol due to local customs I don't drink. Should I be allowed to have special rights to assure I don't have to fly somewhere because I like a glass of wine with dinner? Also in many of the Muslim countries a man can't be alone in a room with a woman that isn't his wife. What if I am dating one of the female FA's? Should we be granted special rights to be together in those countries? Or do we just blend into the society we are in and save our relationship time for LHR, FRA, AMS or FCO?
SKAirbus From Norway, joined Oct 2007, 1737 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11558 times:
Quoting mcdu (Reply 11): If I fly to the Middle East and can't have a drink of alcohol due to local customs I don't drink. Should I be allowed to have special rights to assure I don't have to fly somewhere because I like a glass of wine with dinner?
What an ignorant and bigoted thing to say!
Let's get one thing "straight" here. First of all, drinking alcohol is a choice, being gay isn't (despite what many people think) and secondly this isn't about obtaining special rights, it's about airlines having provisions allowing crew members to protect themselves against a real threat, which in many countries still exists towards gay people. In Uganda and Iran for example, a mere accusation can lead to unspeakable violence by the local population and government agencies (police, judiciary etc) against you, although admittedly foreign crew members will not be at much risk and should (as mentioned above) make sure they are behaving in a way that adheres to local customs.
I actually know a few gay male cabin crew working for BA and SAS so I may consult them, not that SAS flies to many controversial places. I would be interested to hear from ex-BMI staff about their trips to Tehran. I have a feeling the aircraft made a on the way so that crew didn't overnight there?
ItalianFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 1099 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 11499 times:
Interesting question...another variable would be staffing via the PBS bid model (common in N. America) vs rostering model (EU,Middle East & Asia). I can only speak to the North American issues, and I know there are some countries served that worry FA's AND pilots...straight and gay, due to layover security concerns, diseases, cultural issues, etc. I did a yearlong tour of duty in the advance schedule planning department of a major US airline and can tell you that the complexity of staffing trips (within the framework of CBAs, duty legalities, aircraft & language qualifications and metrics set by corporate security) is mind boggling.
No airline wants to put their human or physical assets in harms way. Yet airlines need to make money and sometimes market dynamics involves a degree of comparative risk...e.g. .Dakar vs Denver, Senegal vs Sweden. My airline was very good at educating crew about in country culture, laws, political and health issues as part of the preflight briefing. We are respectful of personal concerns...but the bottom line is that you knew what you were getting into when you signed on with a global network carrier.
Specific to LGBT crew, yes there are countries that impose harsh sentences for homosexual CONDUCT. I assert that 99.9999% of our LGBT crew conduct themselves appropriately as professionals when off duty in such places.
mcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1466 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10789 times:
Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 12): Let's get one thing "straight" here. First of all, drinking alcohol is a choice, being gay isn't (despite what many people think) and secondly this isn't about obtaining special rights, it's about airlines having provisions allowing crew members to protect themselves against a real threat, which in many countries still exists towards gay people.
How would they know the person is gay? I've been to the middle east many times and as far I know they don't make you take a test to prove your orientation. There are plenty of gay cabin crew that I have flown with that their work and actions are not entirely based on their orientation. They are professionals and it isn't an issue. Just like I can keep from carrying on a relationship with a female that isn't my wife in those countries. You didn't like the drink example but how is two unmarried heterosexuals having a sexual relationship different? You want to make this a LGBT issue when it isn't an issue. That doesn't help your cause I must say.
I don't have a prejudice. Many of the co-workers I have as friends are gay FA's. That is no big deal, I believe they would not like you making a big deal out of it either.
SCQ83 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 937 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10746 times:
Quoting YYZYYT (Reply 10): Are there any such routes that are longhaul, foreign destinations where crew get "stuck" because of a perceived danger?
I know from talking to FAs that some African destinations are not usually very welcomed. For instance, LOS where they are usually escorted... probably the fact of being white in Nigeria or some other countries can make you a target if you don't know pretty much your own way. At the end the real problem is flying to unsafe destinations where crime or terrorism is a real issue.
Talking about the dangers of being a FA gay, I incidentally crossed a few (senior) DL FA a few years ago in a gay bar in some Middle Eastern city (city that they stopped flying to short after). When I asked them how they felt about that route being cancelled (that was already official at that time, and meeting them woke up the airplane geek inside of me; I doubt many people in that bar knew that DL flight was to be cancelled ), they said that they really liked flying there, because it was an "easy" flight (in terms of the average passenger), it was one of the longest in the network (so more rest days and so on) and on the ground, they felt welcomed and safe in the city, so it was a nice stay overall.
When I asked one of them which flights they didn't like... they pretty much agree on TLV (according to them the average passenger in that route is more demanding) or GRU (apparently they felt quite confined in the hotel and not really willing to venture much around because of crime in Sao Paulo).
So interestingly, those senior NYC-based (so they would hardly care about hiding their sexuality) FA at DL would rather fly to a Muslim Middle Eastern country than to Israel or Brazil, which are certainly more open to gay people.
mainMAN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 2097 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10712 times:
Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 16): My question and the entire purpose of this thread was to establish whether airlines have provisions in place to allow crew members to avoid destinations that may encroach on this protection. LGBT or female or any other group
An extremely pertinent and interesting question, and it was bound to have been hijacked by some. I don't feel particularly comfortable in (much of) the United Sates, never mind supposed homophobic theocracies!
lhcabincrew From Germany, joined Nov 2011, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10576 times:
I am sorry to read some of the comments here. Maybe some of the members should realize that even today gays and lesbians still have to fight hard to get accepted by those around us! It's not that we WANT to show off our sexual life but what is normal for heterosexual collegues should be normal for homosexual's, too! I can see the point of starting this topic here. This is rather interesting as I can say from my working experience that it is not possible to deny the routes that are being given to you. LH for example flies to Teheran in Iran where young boys, even 15 year old boys, are being hanged in the public! Of course we work and we show professionalism but still it's a bad feeling, entering a country where I would be hanged for kissing a man! Scary thought...
Whoa whoa, slow down there. I agree that being gay is not a choice and the civil rights battles yall have to fight are sad and ridiculous... I'm 100% for marriage equality and all. But he does have a point. As wrong as they are, in our opinions, I think it's unwise to go into foreign countries and break their laws. I know that wasn't the main topic, it got kinda side tracked, but really, I think you'd agree that you probably shouldn't flaunt your homosexuality in SA. If you do and get in trouble for it, I still think SA is not right for punishing you for it, butttttttt....... what do you think was gonna happen?
That's kinda getting side tracked.
I just have a question: how many foreigners really get in trouble if they are caught being gay in these countries? I completely understand your fear even if no one gets in trouble despite there being laws on the books, I was just wondering
bastew From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 1028 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 10072 times:
There was actually quite a lot of discussion going on within BA about this a couple of weeks ago.
Uganda (a BA destination) has recently passed a bill (described as a 'christmas present to ugandans' by a Ugandan MP) increasing the punishments for homosexuality including making it a crime to 'abet' homosexuality. The definition of 'abet' is to approve, encourage or support. So technically this could even place our gay-friendly colleagues in a position where they are unwillingly breaking Ugandan law by approving or supporting our sexuality. Note the quote from the salon article link: "Jail time and fines could be given if one even knows someone who is gay and fails to report it to authorities."
What is perhaps most disappointing is that financial support for the Ugandan MP tabling this new bill through parliament is coming from an american Christian church based in Nevada.
In the meantime similar laws are being proposed to parliament in Nigeria.
So much for 'love thy neighbour' and 'we are all equal in the eyes of the lord' eh?
As for the mid-east debate - personally I would rather fly to a destination anytime there than Africa etc. They have a very much what happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors mentality...compared to some countries in Africa that are literally starting witch hunts for gays.
[Edited 2012-11-27 11:25:05]
: That's my point. Keep it discrete and there's no issue, regardless of your sexuality. Break local law and face consequences, again regardless of your
: Do you ever hold hands with a female or act affectionately with her in public places? Because I see plenty of people doing that, which may constitute
: The "flaunting your sexuality" argument is just a giant double standard. I'm sure mcdu wouldn't think twice about holding his wife's or girlfriend's
: As for flights to/from Saudi Arabia with gay crew members, *cough* I lived there for 2 years... I'm still alive! Provided you don't have gay sexual ac
: This discussion was about countries that have strict laws about being lgbt. In those countries I would not hold hands with my wife or girlfriend. I h
: So, then, address Uganda, where you get prosecuted for just being gay. No flaunting, no holding hands, no nothing. Just setting foot in the country a
: I've been to many Arab or Muslim countries (Syria, Jordan, Saudi, Egypt, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Morocco, Mauritania...) and interestingly, I've seen mor
: I understand the sensitive nature of the issue raised in this discussion, but to be quite honest, I reckon all LGBT crew members, if faced with a rout
: If I'm passionate about a job (even if I was a reporter) I wouldn't limit myself from doing it just because there's a chance that 10% of the time I'l
: I find that comment deeply offsensive.
: I think you are reducing everything to sex. The tricky point is that is the case of Saudi Arabia, homosexual relations are theoretically (yet in prac
: I'm gay and I disagree. There are guys that go out of there way to put it in everyone's face, at times inappropriately too I feel. However, experienc
: Every airline has gay crew members (closeted or not) and in personal experience I've found most of the male FAs I've encountered to be very easily to
: some yes - MANY no!!! Sweeping generalisation is seldom appropriate
: This thread has veered way off the original topic. It will be locked to all future posts. Blue