account of disgusting homophobic behaviour by American Airlines staff.
Shortly after takeoff, Varnier nodded off, leaning his head on Tsikhiseli. A stewardess came over to their row. "The purser wants you to stop that," she said.
"I opened my eyes and was, like, 'Stop what?’" Varnier recalled the other day.
"The touching and the kissing," the stewardess said, before walking away.
Tsikhiseli and Varnier were taken aback. "He would rest his head on my shoulder or the other way around. We’d kiss --not kiss kiss, just mwah," Tsikhiseli recalled, making a smacking sound.
The purser asked the men to describe what they’d been doing, and she acknowledged that their behavior had not been inappropriate. Tsikhiseli then asked if the stewardess would have made the request if the kissers had been a man and a woman. Suddenly, Leisner said, the purser "became very rigid." Contradicting what she’d told them before, she stiffly said, "Kissing is inappropriate behavior on an airplane." She then said that she was busy with the meal service and promised to come back.
Half an hour later, the purser returned, this time saying that some passengers had complained about Tsikhiseli and Varnier’s behavior earlier. The men asked more questions. Who had complained? (She couldn’t say.) Could they have the stewardess’s name, or employee number? (No.) Would the purser arrange for an American Airlines representative to meet them upon landing at J.F.K.? (Not possible.) Finally, the purser said that if they didn’t drop the matter the flight would be diverted. After that, Leisner said, "everyone shut up for a while."
Half Maybe an hour later, the purser approached Tsikhiseli and said that the captain wanted to talk to him. Tsikhiseli went up to the galley and gave the captain his business card. The captain told Tsikhiseli that if they didn’t stop arguing with the crew he would indeed divert the plane. "I want you to go back to your seat and behave the rest of the flight, and we’ll see you in New York," he said. Tsikhiseli returned to coach.