Mary Campos says that she was made to move her seat on a United Airlines flight on Sept. 26 because two Pakinstani monks did not want to sit next to a woman per their cultural beliefs (video below).
Campos, who was flying from John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California, to Houston, said that a gate agent presented her with a new boarding pass moments before she got on her flight.
"He said this is your new seat," Campos told CBS Los Angeles, "And I said, ‘Excuse me?’ And he said, 'I don’t know how to tell you this.'"
According to Campos, the gate agent told her: "The two gentlemen seated next to you have cultural beliefs that prevent them from sitting next to, talking to or communicating with females."
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Campos, who works as a senior consultant in the oil and gas industry, told the news station: "I thought I lived in a culture where women were equal to men."
Campos recalled that she was informed that the two men were Pakistani monks. She added that the female flight attendants were not allowed to serve the men.
"We can’t discriminate against half the population for a belief from another nation," Campos said.
Campos took her new seat assignment, but later wrote a letter to the CEO of United Airlines: "What if I were handicapped, or transgender? What if your entire flight crew were female? Any belief that prevents individuals from interacting with females should not travel on commercial aircraft."
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Campos was told that the airlines would look into it, but she didn't hear back.
United Airlines did respond to CBS Los Angeles with a statement that did not deny the incident: "We regret that Ms. Campos was unhappy with the handling of the seat assignments on her flight. United holds its employees to the highest standards of professionalism and has zero tolerance for discrimination."
Campos isn't looking to sue United Airlines, but does want the company to issue apologies to every woman on the flight, and change their policy.
She plans to do whatever it takes to protect women's rights.
Campos told the OC Register that a flight attendant informed her: "You'd be surprised at some of the stuff we have to put up with. This is pretty insulting."
The newspaper notes that the description of the monks sounded like they were Buddhist, and that they may have cited old teachings against touching women even though the Dalai Lama shakes hands with and hugs both men and women.