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.”
Later, the carrier said, “”This unfortunate incident was caused by a seating error, compounded by a full flight and a crew seeking an on-time departure and nothing more than that. It’s our policy to keep all families seated together whenever possible; that didn’t happen here and we are deeply sorry for the situation. We’ve reached out to Mr. Cooley to offer our sincere apologies for what happened and we are seeking to make it right.
“Diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of Alaska Airlines. We are an airline for everyone and reflect these values through our work with dozens of nonprofit LGBTQ organizations, Pride Parades along the West Coast and a perfect score in the HRC’s Equality Index. We’ll keep building on this commitment, with our employee-led LGBTQ business resource group.”
The apologies 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 Facebook post shared more 2,100 times.
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SOURCE: CBS News, Kate Gibson