Gay couple told to separate or leave the plane so straight couple could sit next to each other
A couple flying from John F. Kennedy Airport to LAX were discriminated against when the airline gave them an ultimatum: change seats or get off the plane.
Businessman David Cooley was traveling with his partner and had just settled in for a cross-country flight when an Alaska Airlines attendant asked his partner to change seats so that a straight couple could sit together.
Cooley explained that they were a couple as well, but preferential treatment was given to the heterosexual couple, even though Cooley and his partner were seated first.
He shared the incident on Facebook, but the post has seen been deleted. A screengrab of his post can also be seen on Twitter.
.@AlaskaAir I have never been so discriminated against while traveling before. I was removed from an Alaska Airlines flight # 1407 from John F. Kennedy Airport to LAX to give preferential treatment to a straight couple. #LGBTQ #AlaskaAir #JFK #discrimination pic.twitter.com/Os9JWM4aQt— David Cooley (@DavidCooleyLA) July 29, 2018
As a straight person, I am offended by Alaskan Airlines conduct. Just what do they think defines a couple, it is not up to themto decide. Their actions were wrong and the couple who cause the action were equally at fault. Just when will business and politicians pay the cost.— Michael Spears aka 대령 장영진 (@MP_Spears) July 30, 2018
Before being deleted, the post was shared more than 2,100 times. Read more on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa.
'We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane. I cannot believe that an airline in this day and age would give a straight couple preferential treatment over a gay couple.'
David Cooley, Twitter, July 29, 2018.
Alaska Airlines demanded a gay couple move seats to accommodate a straight couple. The person who experienced this, asked tht #LGBTQ boycott Alaskan Airline. How about we all do? #EqualityforAll #BoycottAlaskaAir @AlaskaAir https://t.co/3TJQlKWtGJ— Stacey (@nursegalmom) July 31, 2018
He added that they would never fly with Alaska Airlines and thanked Delta Air Lines for getting them home safe. He also urged his followers to spend their 'travel dollars with an LGBT friendly airline like Delta.'
Alaska Airlines have since responded to his tweet. They apologized for the event and explained that they 'mistakenly booked two people in one seat.'
They wanted to reiterate that their airline is inclusive and 'hold a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind' in their workplace.
In a statement shared on CBS News, the airline said: '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.'
Cooly is a restaurant owner from Los Angeles and the founder of The Abbey Food & Bar in West Hollywood, as well as the That Chapel At The Abbey.
Southwest Airlines also made news recently when they asked a mother to prove that her biracial son is her biological child. Read more here.