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Airline KLM accused of sending ‘homophobic’ email about cabin crew ‘approaching’ same-sex couples

Helen Coffey

Dutch airline KLM has come under fire after a customer published a screenshot of a “homophobic” email allegedly sent to them by a customer service representative.

Twitter user @ErinClaireSF posted the correspondence on the social media platform, along with the caption: “Gay brothers and sisters, KLM will approach you and let you know someone has complained about you holding hands on board. The crew will decide the best course of action.”

The original message the customer service agent was responding to wasn’t shared, but the alleged KLM response in the screen shot begins by addressing a query about the airline’s breastfeeding policy.

“The Twitter post is simply a reminder to mothers breastfeeding on board that they may be told by the cabin staff to cover up in case somebody a passenger for example, tell the cabin crew they are uncomfortable on what they are seeing,” it says.

It continues: “Same as with the same-sex relationship that you gave as an example, if needed be the cabin crew can approach the said party and base on the response they were given, then they would act and respond accordingly.

“This type of concern is on a case to case basis, and should be dealt with based upon the response of the said parties.”

The email appears to have been sent from KLM UK Reservations, and is signed off simply “Aaron”.

Social media users were shocked by the email, with one Twitter user commenting: “This is just support for homophobia. When someone says ‘those two guys are holding hands, it offends me’ the only proper response is telling them to f*** off back to the 1950s.”

A KLM spokesperson told The Independent: “We’re currently investigating this reply as it does not represent our official point of view at all. We understand this reply is offending and we distance ourselves completely from it.”

The airline says it is taking the accusation “very seriously”.

It is the third time the beleaguered airline has hit the headlines in recent weeks.

A mother expressed her shock at being asked to “cover up” while breastfeeding during a recent KLM flight, while an ill-advised tweet from the airline indicating the seats in which passengers are most likely to die on an aircraft also ruffled feathers on the five-year anniversary of the MH17 crash which killed all 298 passengers and crew.