Alaska Airlines Reportedly Forces Gay Couple To Split For Straight Couple



Alaska Airlines reportedly splits gay couple so straight couple could sit together

alaska airlinesAn Alaska Airlines plane in Seattle. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

  • Alaska Airlines reportedly forced a gay couple to split up so that a straight couple could sit next to each other on a flight.
  • David Cooley said a flight attendant told his companion that he had to move to a different seat or get off the plane.
  • Both Cooley and his companion said they left the flight and traveled home with Delta instead.
  • Alaska Airlines apologized for the incident and said it values inclusion.

Alaska Airlines reportedly separated a gay couple on a flight Saturday so that a straight couple could sit together on the plane.

David Cooley, who owns the The Abbey — a well-known gay hotspot in West Hollywood, — wrote on Facebook that he and his companion were seated on their flight from Los Angeles to New York. According to Cooley, a flight attendant asked his companion to move before takeoff so that a straight couple could sit together, even though Cooley explained they were a couple. He said the attendant gave his companion an ultimatum: Move from a premium seat to coach, or get off the plane.

Cooley and his partner said they opted to leave and take a flight on Delta instead.

"We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane," Cooley wrote in a Facebook post. "I cannot believe that an airline in this day and age would give a straight couple preferential treatment over a gay couple and go so far as to ask us to leave. We will never be flying Alaska Airlines or their recently purchased Virgin Airlines Group ever again."

In a statement provided to INSIDER, a representative for Alaska Airlines said the company reached out to Cooley and his companion to apologize, and that the incident was caused by "a seating error."

"This unfortunate incident was caused by a seating error, compounded by a full flight and a crew seeking an on-time departure and nothing more than that," the company said in the statement. "It's our policy to keep all families seated together whenever possible; that didn't happen here and we are deeply sorry for the situation."

The airline representative said the company has a "zero-tolerance" police for discrimination, and that "diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of Alaska Airlines."

"We are an airline for everyone and reflect these values through our work with dozens of nonprofit LGBTQ organizations, Pride Parades along the West Coast and a perfect score in the HRC's Equality Index," the statement said. "We'll keep building on this commitment, with our employee-led LGBTQ business resource group."

It's not clear if Alaska Airlines refunded Cooley and his partner for their tickets. Cooley didn't immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment.

This post has been update with a response from Alaska Airlines.






Video: A Gay Couple Say They Were Asked To Fly Separately So A Straight Couple Could Sit Together | TIME

Alaska Airlines reportedly splits gay couple so straight couple could sit together
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Date: 15.12.2018, 16:04 / Views: 83274