Alaska Airlines apologizes.
A gay businessman was traveling with his partner from New York to Los Angeles on Sunday when a flight attendant asked that one of the men move to another seat because a straight couple wanted to sit together.
According to Pink News and a Facebook post, David Cooley's partner was told to relocate from his purchased premium seat and into coach; he could either do that or leave the plane.
Cooley took to Facebook to report the incident:
"I have never been so discriminated against while traveling before. I was removed from an Alaska Airlines flight # 1407 from John F. Kennedy International Airport to LAX to give preferential treatment to a straight couple." He adds, “I explained that we were a couple and wanted to sit together."
Alaska Airlines issued a statement to U.K. LGBT publication Gay Star News and admitted their mistake:
“When boarding flight 1407 from JFK to LAX, a couple was mistakenly assigned the same seats as another couple in Premium Class,” the statement said.
We reseated one of the guests from Premium Class in the Main Cabin.
We are deeply sorry for the situation, and are investigating the details while communicating directly with the guests involved to try and make this right.”
The airline industry has been relatively quiet in the news lately after taking many customer service hits in the media last year.
Cooley says the situation will affect who he uses as a carrier in the future, "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. Thank you to Delta Air Lines for getting us home safe. If you are an #LGBT person, please spend your travel dollars with an LGBT friendly airline like Delta."