LOS ANGELES, CA (KXAN) — A gay couple is claiming they were bumped from their premium seats on an Alaska Airlines flight so a straight couple could sit together.
David Cooley, who owns a Los Angeles gay bar called the Abbey, wrote in a Facebook post that he and his partner were flying from New York to Los Angeles this past week. He said after they had been sitting in their assigned premium seats “for a while,” a flight attendant asked his companion to move to coach so a couple could sit together.
“I explained that we were a couple and wanted to sit together,” Cooley wrote. “He was given a choice to either give up the premium seat and move to coach or get off the plane. We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane.”
Alaska Airlines told NBC News it is investigating the incident. It said the issue happened after “a couple was mistakenly assigned the same seats as another couple in Premium Class,” and added that the company has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination.
The airline released a statement Wednesday:
“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,” Cooley said.
The two men ended up flying Delta Airlines home to Los Angeles.