Alaska Airlines has apologised to a gay couple, one of whom was asked to give up his premium class seat and move to coach class (so that a straight couple could sit together) or get off the plane.
Businessman, David Cooley, CEO & Founder of The Abbey Food & Bar in West Hollywood, explained to the attendant that he and his companion were also a couple. However, the attendant insisted that they move, and so Mr Cooley and his companion decided to leave the plane, rather than continue to feel humiliated.
Mr Cooley and his companion subsequently flew with Delta Airlines to their destination.
Alaska Airlines has since apologised to Mr Cooley and offered a refund, and stated on social media:
However, social media users have commented on the incident:
Caroline Poarch The flight attendant was told that the two men were a couple. It seems to me that equality is NOT a value held by Alaska Airlines. Also, asking someone to give up a premium seat to keep a (presumably adult) couple together is ridiculous. I find the airline’s actions deplorable, and it’s apology rings disingenuous to me. For what it’s worth, I will never fly this airline. Cheers to Delta for accommodating Mr. Cooley and his partner!
Skip Sch 1) Stop overbooking! 2) No person, once seated, should ever be ‘forced’ to change their seat.
Valerie Phippen What gives one person more rights to a seat when double booking happens? Why didn’t they just Re-seat the people who boarded later than the couple already sitting? Seems to me like the easier way to go?
Valerie Phippen so that gives one person more rights than the next? Because it was a full flight? That’s not an answer.
For his part, Mr Cooley has removed his Facebook post on the incident, in which he also asked LGBTQ people to boycott the airline, and in a new posting says:
Thank you to everyone for all the support. Alaska Airlines has reached out, apologized, and we are discussing making things right. I accept Alaska Airlines apology and appreciate it addressing the situation.