Alaska Airlines bumps gay couple off flight - seats given to straight couple

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#1 Alaska Airlines bumps gay couple off flight - seats given to straight couple

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:17 am

Alaska Airlines: Gay couple separated, seats given to straight couple

by Kate Gibson, CBS

July 30, 2018

Alaska Airlines is apologizing for an overbooking situation in which a gay couple was asked to relinquish their seats to a heterosexual pair.

"We mistakenly booked two people in one seat. We are deeply sorry for the situation, and are investigating the details," the carrier said in a statement, adding that it has a "zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind."

The apology came after Los Angeles restaurant owner David Cooley took to Facebook on Sunday to vent about his experience on an Alaska Airlines flight bound from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport.

"After my traveling 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," Cooley, owner of the iconic LA gay bar The Abbey wrote in a post shared more 2,100 times.

David Cooley's post:
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. After my traveling 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. 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. 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.

"We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane," Cooley added. "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 acknowledging its error, Alaska Airlines said the gate agents involved in the incident did not realize the men were a couple.

Cooley ended his Facebook post calling on LGBT people to boycott Alaska Airlines.

"Thank you to Delta Air Lines for getting us home safe," he wrote. "If you are an #LGBT person, please spend your travel dollars with an LGBT friendly airline like Delta."

Federal rules allow carriers to set their own criteria for picking passengers to bump, but the practice can be costly, both in damage to an airline's reputation and in compensating those compelled to give up their seats. An analysis of government aviation data last year found passengers bumped from Alaska Airlines flight received the highest average compensation of $1,605.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alaska-air ... ht-couple/

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#2 Re: Alaska Airlines bumps gay couple off flight - seats given to straight couple

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:23 am

I don't believe a word of Alaska Airlines' "apology." The seats they overbooked just happened to be those seats? Why does the word 'bullshit' come to mind?

And this man paid for a premium seat and yet was told to move to a lesser seat - either that or get off the plane? And this because a straight couple wanted to sit together? What's wrong with this picture?

Why wasn't that straight couple simply told there are no seats available for them to sit together? They couldn't survive a flight for a few hours in different seating areas? Other people are supposed to inconvenience themselves for them? How about letting them be the ones inconvenienced?

If an airline staff member told me I have to leave my decent seat and move to a crappy seat because someone else wants to sit in it - either that or get off the plane, I probably would have said, "Then you better call the police. And you better be prepared to take the heat when I contact the news media and also post this incident all over the internet because I refuse to do either one without a damned good reason - and this ain't a damned good reason."

"Tell me your name. I'll need it for the lawsuit."
- Jack Lemmon (George Kellerman), 'The Out of Towners'

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#3 Re: Alaska Airlines bumps gay couple off flight - seats given to straight couple

Postby jason105 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:37 pm

I will not be flying with Alaska Airlines again unless I have exhausted every other possibility and they are the only carrier available and the trip cannot be postponed or re-scheduled to allow me time to drive or take a dogsled!
They constantly overbook and expect passengers to bear the inconvenience.
I am done with them!

all the best


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