Gay couple forced to give up plane seat to straight couple
A gay couple were forced to move so a straight couple could sit together on an Alaska Airlines flight yesterday.
David Cooley, an American businessman, was flying from New York to Los Angeles with his partner when the incident occurred. His partner was told he had to move to the main cabin from his Premium seat as a straight couple wanted to sit together.
He was told that he would either have to move or leave the plane.
The pair had already been seated in their assigned seats when a flight attendant approached them and told them that one of them would have to move.
In a post on Facebook, Cooley said that he has “never been so discriminated against while travelling before”.
“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.
“I explained that we were a couple and wanted to sit together. He was given a choice to either give up the premium seat and move to coach or get off the plane.
I have never been so discriminated against while traveling before. I was removed from an Alaska Airlines flight # 1407…
“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 and go so far as to ask us to leave.”
In a statement to GSN, a spokesperson for Alaska Airlines confirmed that the incident had taken place.
“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.”
Cooley encouraged LGBT+ people who are travelling to ensure they spend their money on LGBT friendly airlines, and said he will never fly with Alaska Airlines again.