Gay Couple Kicked Out Of Alaska Airlines Premium Seats For Straight Couple

Alaska Airlines
image: Alaska Airlines

David Cooley, a gay businessman sat down in his premium seat on Alaska Airlines along with his travel companion, expecting to enjoy a great flight.

Instead, Cooley said, “he and his travel companion were subjected to humiliation instead“, according to NBC News.

Cooley owns The Abbey, an iconic gay bar in Los Angeles. He posted to Facebook that he’s “never been so discriminated against while traveling before.”

Here’s some details about what took place.

Cooley feels that he and his travel companion were removed from their premium seats to give preferential treatment to a straight couple. After sitting in their assigned seats, a flight attendant came by, asking his travel companion to switch from his premium seat to coach so  couple could sit together.

He says that they explained that they too were a couple and wanted to sit together. He was then given the choice to either switch seats to coach or get off of the plane.

Rather than feel humiliated for the duration of the flight, they decided to leave the plane.

At the end of his Facebook post, Cooley thanked Delta Air Lines for getting them home.

Alaska Airlines said that the situation is being investigated. The problem occurred due to the couple being assigned the same seats as another couple in premium class.

The airline says that they are in contact with Cooley and his partner, trying to make things right.

I find it hard to believe that in 2018 an airline would purposely discriminate against any group. It is good to hear that Alaska Airlines is trying to work things out with the couple and hopefully these kind of humiliating and awkward situations cease to take place in the future.

Find out more from NBC News here.

10 thoughts on “Gay Couple Kicked Out Of Alaska Airlines Premium Seats For Straight Couple

  1. David- Good points.

    Veejay- Clickbait- just reporting what I read.

    Robert S- I totally agree, there are always two sides to a story. I don’t believe that I took sides and did state that I found it hard to believe that the airline would purposely discriminate.

  2. I have to agree with most of the other responses above. You, Michael, are an experienced traveler and should know there is another side to this story.

  3. Your headline is click bait. You KNOW it was due to seat assignment errors. It had NOTHING to do with their sexual orientation. So, why preface your headline in that fashion? The next time a black person gets moved due to a seat assignment error, will your headline read “Black Man kicked out of seat For White Man”?

  4. In light of the abysmal response from Alaska, I don’t think is overblown. Alaska could have clarified this very easily but gave very ambiguous responses.

    THEY were not assigned the same seats as another couple as only one was asked to move. That right there is odd. If they were travelling together, I would have thought they’d be booked together. Why only one asked to move? Why no explanation from Alaska as to why the second couple got priority. Saying this was due to wanting to be on time doesn’t explain why they didn’t let the couple already seated stay seated. Moving an already sat couple does nothing to ensure on time take off.

    Very real possibility that decisionmakers felt whether they acknowledge it or not that splitting a gay couple was not as much of a issue as splitting a straight couple.

    Lots of thing could have clarified this and made it seem not discriminatory – the response failed to provide any of those explanations.

  5. Ryan- I just reported the info I came across. Not sure how I made any mess of it. Sorry if you feel that way.

    Ryan- The article didn’t mention why the guy seated was told to move and his partner posted that it was due to being gay.

    Matthew S- Thanks for sharing this info. It definitely makes more sense of the situation.

  6. the media is totally overreacting to this and I am a gay man. it has nothing to do with him being gay. I fly alaska 75 times a year and when there is a computer error assigning 2 seats to the same person they will go by elite status first then class of fare then by which has connections. to say this is discrimination is ludicrous. they should probably have asked for a volunteer but at worst this is poor customer service but it is not homophobia nor is it discrimination at all. the author from NBC should be ashamed for the misleading headline

  7. Read your own article. The couple both got assigned the same seats. It just happens to be they were gay, same thing would have happened regardless. These articles are in very poor taste.

  8. I wasn’t there but I’m almost 100% positive that this altercation had nothing to do with sexual preference. I’m so sick of people just pulling these race cards and gender cards every time there’s an incident That doesn’t go their way. And big shame on you bloggers for making a bigger mess out of it

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