01 AUG 2018: David Cooley and his partner were travelling from JFK to LAX on the weekend. They were seated in premium class on Alaskan Airlines. In a Facebook post Cooley wrote, “After my travelling companion and I had been seated in our assigned seats for a while, we were approached by the flight attendant and my companion was asked to move from his premium seat to coach, so a couple could sit together.”

Cooley explained that he and his male partner were also a couple and wanted to sit together.

He was then given a choice to either give up the premium seat and move to coach or get off the plane.

Cooley and his partner left the plane.

“We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane,” said 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.”

They took a Delta flight instead.

“We will never be flying Alaska Airlines or their recently-purchased Virgin Airlines ever again.” Said Cooley who runs two gay nightclubs in Hollywood.

Alaskan confirmed the incident happened and apologized to Cooley and his partner, but rather idiotically denied they were discriminated against.

“We are truly sorry this event occurred. We mistakenly booked two people in one seat” the airline told Cooley via Twitter.

Well, if that was the case why would you move the passengers already seated in favour of the passengers who boarded later and were not. Why were the straight couple not apologised to and told they had to sit separately.

Sorry, Alaskan, that doesn’t cut it.

“I can assure you we are an inclusive airline and hold a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind in our workplace.”

Well, tell it to your flight attendants.

Alaskan said it was investigating the issue and speaking to all involved to resolve the situation. A bit late for resolution after the fact.

1X_David Cooley
David Cooley

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Jen Savedra

Jen Savedra is the founder and editor in chief of Travel Industry Today with  a long career and considerable experience in various sectors of travel and tourism. She is dedicated to producing a publication that differentiates itself from the pack. One that pulls no punches, and - along with being a forum for news and ideas - is easy to navigate and always fun to read.

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