Alaska Airlines Responds To ‘Seat-Gate’

Yesterday, I reported on a gay couple being asked to move to separate seats on a flight from New York City to Los Angeles on Alaska Airlines.

The partner of gay businessman Dave Cooley was asked to move from his premium seat to coach in deference to a straight couple who said they wanted to sit together.

The unfortunate incident ended up with Cooley and his partner departing the plane before it took off and Delta Airlines accommodated the men.

Alaska Airlines reached out to me this morning with the following statement:

“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. Alaska Airlines has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind. All of us at Alaska value inclusion for our guests and each other.”

“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.”

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