Alaska Airlines Under Fire for Separating Gay Couple on Flight to Give Seats to Heterosexual Couple
Alaska Airlines is apologizing for an act of blatant discrimination against a same-sex couple, but the damage is already done as
#BoycottAlaskaAirlines is circulating social media.
“Diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of Alaska Airlines,” the company said in a statement.
However, the current executive team is all white men and the first woman on the list is three-levels down from the CEO. Out of
25 executives listed, only four apparently are women.
“It takes an amazing effort to exclude women to this degree,” DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti said.
As diversity initiatives begin from the top down, the bias of Alaska Airlines flight attendants show.
David Cooley, owner of the iconic Los Angeles gay bar, The Abbey, was on a flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, when he and his partner experienced discrimination.
“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,” Cooley wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“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 wrote.
“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.”
The airline issued an apology after Cooley shared his experience on social media.
“We mistakenly booked two people in one seat,” the company said, in part. “We are deeply sorry for the situation,” and added that an investigation is currently taking place.
But if the reactions on social media are any indication, Alaska Airlines is on the path to losing customers:
Accidents happen. Discrimination happens too. What’s to investigate You screwed up. You’re standing on the wrong side of history on this, and you’ve lost my business forever. Shame on you. I call for all sensible people to boycott
— A B (@alexbitterman)
July 30, 2018