Mesa Discriminatory?

Light Years

Aug 27, 2002
Perhaps someone at everyones favorite regional airline that clarify this for me.

I heard that Johnny Ornstein does not let his employees have a domestic patner on thier travel pass?

Not offering domestic patner benefits on the company-sponsored health plan is one thing, but the travel pass is through US Airways, which like most major corporations offers domestic parnter benefits to its employees (and they offer the travel program to affiliates which includes this).

A good friend of mine is a pilot for an Express carrier, and while his company doesnt recognize his domestic patner, US Airways does for travel. Is Mesa making a point of taking this benefit AWAY from its unmarried employees? Is that legal? Theres certainly alot to dislike about J.O and his airline (not the employees), but this takes the cake. Is he discriminating against unmarried partners (be it by choice or by state law)?

I'm not starting this thread to hear any bigoted, political, racist, homophobic, religious, opinions, just whether or not this is true or if someone is confused with thier information.
I think there may be legal hairs to split between a "benefit", and a privelege. The fact your travel card can be pulled for misuse, probably does not make it fit the legal definition of a benefit. I think it is wrong if someone can enjoy US pass priveleges, but then have Mesa only let you use part of it. Does anyone know if there is any cost incurred to the affiliate carriers in terms of admin fees that US assesses for each person using travel passes? That is the only way I can figure Ornstein justifying that.

Ornstein is a lot of things, but I don't think he is bigoted or a homophobe or whatever one may wish to toss around.
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Again, the travel program and any costs are through US Airways, not Mesa Airlines. There would be no reason whatsover to say "heres US's travel program, but I dont think your unmarried parnter should travel on them, so cross that off in regards to our company."

If they said "We dont think your parents or children should travel" I would also question it. Why go to the effort when its not a cost to your own company (which is already one of the few companies in its industry to not offer its own program, which studies have shown costs very little and attracts and retains talent, and promotes a diverse workforce).

Bob, lets say your company announces a deal with Outback Steakhouse where your employees can eat for free. Anything on the menu. Your boss, who doesnt like onions and has a "no onion" policy in the office, tells you you can go to the Outback but you cannot order a Bloomin Onion. Why? Because HE doesnt like onions? Hes made that clear, Outback, who is offering you something, thinks onions are just as tasty as the next vegetable and is offering you them for free. What business is it of your boss?

On an unrelated note, I'm hungry.
I say "leaflet" the hell out of Mesa, with big signs of discrimination against same sex partners. In fact, the homosexual community should boycott the airline :up:
PITbull said:
I say "leaflet" the hell out of Mesa, with big signs of discrimination against same sex partners. In fact, the homosexual community should boycott the airline :up:
I already do PB. LOL I hate MESA's presence in PIT and in the US family. I'm looking forward to MidAtlantic.
AKA Traveler,


Boycotting should be a public/media event. It puts pressure on Mesa that the Gay community will collectively NOT tolerate this prejudice on any level and in any capacity.
If Orenstein doen't want to have "domestic benefits" at his company than its his right. Its his company. If you don't like it than don't work there. If Orenstein finds gays to be offensive, morally corrupt or what have you its his right to say Mesa is not going to offer benefits for a lifestyle his company doesnt agree with. For one to demand that another accept a gay lifestyle is as ignorant as one demanding one to disapprove of a gay lifestyle. If Mesa doesn't want to pay domestic benefits thats their right. Stop being a hypocrite and trying to stuff your views and values on someone else while bashing their right to see issues in a way contrary to yours. I have no opinion whether or not they should provide the benefits but I do believe that its Mesa's right to not offer them just as its your right to try to get them.
:unsure: On a sidenote... there was an instance earlier in 2003 where my partner and I were flying non-rev and the flight we were listed for was a Mesa. I can't find words to describe my feelings when we were told that I could fly because I was the employee but if my partner wanted to go "it must buy a ticket, his pass isn't good on us". I didn't say anything for fear the pass nazi's might do something and turn it around and say I did something wrong. I'm glad/sad to hear though that we were not alone in the treatment. I wonder if they would do the same to domestic partners of the opposite sex?
...Bob, when you say - "Why someone's choice of bed partners is a matter of public policy I'll never understand. Never have! Never will! Just like the whole racial thing! To me in business their is but ONE color and that is GREEN! As in MONEY!" - you make a great point. You would think too that if he realized that, then he would cater to the Gay/Lesbian market since typically we have more disposable income. Hell, the only advertising I've seen for US outside of New York of Washington is in Gay Magazines or Gay related websites :D
" there was an instance earlier in 2003 where my partner and I were flying non-rev and the flight we were listed for was a Mesa. I can't find words to describe my feelings when we were told that I could fly because I was the employee but if my partner wanted to go "it must buy a ticket, his pass isn't good on us".

Bradly, Who exactly told you that your partner "must by a ticket" to fly on Mesa? Was it a gate agent? Mgmt? Mesa has no gate agents in the U system and if your partner is on your travel pass the agent would have no way of knowing what his/her relation is. Anyone on a U travel pass can fly on any U Mesa flight, period! This whole story sounds a little fishy to me. Of course this thread was started by light Years and her whole goal in life is to try and slander Mesa at every turn. -Cape
Bradly71 said:
...gate agent, PWM
Well then it wasn't Mesa that told you your partner he/she couldn't ride, it was a mainline or WO gate agent. Again, is your partner on your travel pass? Can he or she list and does he or she have a travel card? If so your story doesn't hold water. -Cape
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Cape is right about the agents. The gate agents are all US Airways or USE wholly owned, with very few exceptions. Bradly, I'd investigate this issue by calling the travel department. This does not vary station to station, its policy. If I was a gate agent I cant say, "Well, you can go but youre wife cant, she looks like a b@#$h. Make her buy a ticket." Please PM about this. This is a totally different issue than Mesa and thier internal policy.

As for them, I spoke to a friend yesterday on this and both US Airways and Mesa will be hearing alot more on this. A few years ago a female employee of ours attempted to use an interline deal we had going with Sandals resorts with her partner and they told her she could only bring a man. She let US Airways know about this and they immediatly, without hesitation, withdrew association with Sandals. There was even a small article about it in the US Airways News. This was under Wolf/Gangwal, say what you will, but they had zero tolerance for any type of discrimination.

Like Bradly said, the only advertising for US Airways I've seen aside from Shuttle advertising is in the GLBT press. Do a search folks. We have one that shows two guys on a beach that have just caught a big fish and it says "Parnters in Life, Partners in Travel. US AIRWAYS" advertising that we recongnize CUSTOMERS partners for Dividend Miles etc. US Airways has always sponsored and had booths at the Gay/Lesbian political events in Philadelphia, giving out DM applications, timetables etc. One year they even gave out temporary tatoos of the logo :lol: When they were hiring they advertised on the net and in press as a diverse employer, touting thier place on the list of major employers offering DP benefits (it was not as common at the time). Whether some of you know it or not, US Airways has alot of goodwill (and loyalty, and in some cases huge income) within the GLBT "community", particularly in Philadelphia, Boston and Washington. Are we going to lose another strength here? Again, a friend is looking into this and whether or not US Airways should be getting this business as through its use of outsourcing, things are not as advertised.

Exagony, you say you have no opinion but your post reeks of a disturbing one. Everyone else on the post is discussing this in a business and equal rights context. You, on the other hand, are using terms like "morally corrupt", "offensive", and the best one of all "lifestyle" (as if the elderly gay couple next door to me's "lifestyle" is different than the "straight" couple on the other side- they both take out the garbage on Tuesdays and go to church and mow the lawn on Sunday and go to work- I dont really see anything "alternative" going on :rolleyes: ). How come everyone else in the post maintained maturity and respect?

Capecod, did or did not the travel pass change for affiliates I mentioned months ago happen? You jumped on me saying I was just starting nasty rumours, when all I was stating was fact from mainline management. Sorry I got the news (as an inactive employee) before you did! I am by no means on a Mesa-smearing campaign. I am sorry you are so sensitive about it, you think you'd be used to criticism about your company by now.

Mesa is a contractor to US Airways so thier business is ours as employees. As a customer (yes, I have BOUGHT tickets on US before), they are US Airways and should offer the same as the parent company. This issue will come up again.
I'm very surprised Mesa hasn't educated themselves about the potential money they could find slip away by a boycott from the Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Community. Love us or hate us, we got the money, not kids, and we love to travel and spend money BUT not a dime to those the are not willing to take care of their own Where's that email address? I'm writing now.
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You are correct. Mesa of course does not advertise its services, US Airways markets them as thier own product. US Airways itself would suffer from negative publicity in a market it has spent nearly a decade building.

Ask anyone in advertising what one of the biggest untapped markets is and they will tell you the GLBT one. US Airways realized this in the late 90's (yes, we were ahead of the game for once). The common thought is that this particular niche tends to be more affluent and educated, with more discretionary income. Most couples do not have children, those that do are often affluent enough to afford the legal protections for thier family. This results in higher income households with two higher than average incomes. More so than any other affinity group, they are very trend savvy and fiercely loyal. Its estimated that GLBT families are 87% more likely to support a company that advertises to them directly. Philadelphias tourism board has recently begun gay-themed advertising worldwide. Many Fortune 500 companies have set up specific marketing departments for this. In the airline industry, American Airlines and US Airways specifically are known for thier affinity with the gay community. US Airways at one time had a specific position in marketing with Gay and Lesbian marketing in the title (not sure if they still do, its probably a VP position now, you know how they like those..)

A link discussing US Airways partnership wth and Airways relevance in this market

The cornerstone of a campaign like this is being able to advertise a fair-minded policy towards diversity and lack of discrimination against that particular affinity group. The advertising alone doesnt cut it. An example of this is Coors Brewing Company. The Coors family has ties to an Anti-gay fundraising group (yes, there are people in the world who raise money to hate someone), but they advertise heavily in the gay community to no avail- this group is very sensitive to what kind of organization thier money is going to. Bob pointed out some of the gay groups. Many of them such as the HRC (Human Rights Campaign), or GLAAD have support from politicians and supporters of all orientations that will participate in a boycott (if interested do a search on Cracker Barrel or Exxon-Mobil).

If its found to be true that one of the companies providing our products not only doesnt offer equal benefits (not all of the commuters do) but actively RESTRICTS use of benefits offered by the parent company, where does that put US's strong position in this particular market? One of its few strong markets.