‘Alaska Airlines’ is in hot water over reports of a flight attendant allegedly telling a gay man he could either give up his seat as requested or get off the flight. That’s right, the attendant wanted a gay man to move so that a straight couple could sit together.

Identified as David Cooley, founder of famous West Hollywood Gay Bar the Abbey (Map It), originally posted the ordeal on his Facebook page on Sunday afternoon saying an ‘Alaska Airlines flight attendant asked his boyfriend to move so a straight couple could sit together. Cooley says that he and his boyfriend were sitting in premium seats and the flight attendant of ‘Alaska Airlines’ asked his partner to give up his seat and sit in coach after of course paying for premium seating.

Cooley added that he attempted to explain to the flight attendant that his travel companion was his boyfriend and that they would like to sit together.

“He was given a choice to either give up the premium seat and move to coach or get off the plane,” Cooley wrote of his boyfriend. “We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane.” wrote David Cooley.

“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,” said Cooley.

Since his posting on Facebook, the story has amassed over 4,300 reactions and 1,900 shares.

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When media outlets contacted Alaska Airlines regarding this outrageous incident, their spokeswoman Oriana Branon provided the following statement:

“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. 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. We’ve reached out to Mr. Cooley to offer our sincere apologies for what happened and we are seeking to make it right.” Alaska Airlines has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind.

Diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of Alaska Airlines,” Branon said. “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. We’ll keep building on this commitment, with our employee-led LGBTQ business resource group.”

Now to be objective in what could have been a simple employee pushing their own personal views during the course of their job, ‘Alaska Airlines’ has a page which is dedicated to gay travel on their official website. Could this incident be similar to what one of the Starbucks stores based in Philadelphia went through back in April when one employee called the police on two Black men for no reason?

According to the ‘Alaska Airlines’ website page targeting gay travel, …“At Alaska, we are longtime supporters of the LGBT community and remain committed to a more equitable society,”.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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