Alaska Airlines Under Fire for Separating Gay Couple on Flight to Give Seats to Heterosexual Couple
"We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane," David Cooley said in a Facebook post.
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 @AlaskaAir #boycottAlaskaAirlines
— A B (@alexbitterman) July 30, 2018
I will be boycotting Alaska Airlines. Removing a gay couple to make way for a straight couple is about as ridiculous as it gets. #BoycottAlaskaAirlines
— Emily Stutz (@SputzieBird) July 30, 2018
President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."
It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.
Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."
"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.
"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.
Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.
His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."
Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.
Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.
Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.
I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.
Reader Question: How are people you know that are furloughed workers surviving?
America, this is why football players kneel.
The three officers who were on trial for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and official misconduct in the cover up of Laquan McDonald's murder were acquitted on Thursday by Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson.
"Our country is in a hellhole right now," she said. "All for a f‐‐‐ing wall."
Rapper Cardi B. told her 39 million Instagram followers on Wednesday night what she really thought about President Trump's partial government shutdown, his wall and about his absurd request to force people who aren't getting paid to go back to work.
She didn't mince words (she uses explicit language in the video).
"I can't breathe," Christopher Lowe said before he died. But officers still failed to call for help.
Kiah Morris resigned from her position because of the harassment, but Vermont's attorney general said he will not file charges against the perpetrators, including Max Misch.
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Ebenezer Baptist Church and most of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta are closed. "I feel a bit of sadness...I didn't expect to cry over this," said Bernice King.
Tuesday was Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and next Monday is our national celebration of the civil rights icon.
But school field trips, celebrations, families' visits to teach children about civil rights and the values of all people being created equally are being canceled due to President Trump's government shutdown.
Thousands of people who flock to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor, and to his home, as well as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C., will be disappointed. They are all closed.