David Cooley, the CEO of West Hollywood gay bar The Abbey, has forgiven Alaska Airlines for forcing him and his partner to give up their first class seats for a straight couple on a full flight from New York to Los Angeles over the weekend.
“Thank you to everyone for all the support,” Cooley said on Facebook Tuesday afternoon. “Alaska Airlines has reached out, apologized, and we are discussing making things right. I accept Alaska Airline’s apology and appreciate it addressing the situation.”
This “unfortunate incident,” as Alaska Airlines refers to it in a statement, happened due to a “seating mix-up” on a full flight Sunday from John F. Kennedy Airport International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport.
Alaska Airlines said in the statement:
“… It’s our policy to keep all families seated together whenever possible. That didn’t happen here. We are deeply sorry for the situation and did not intend to make Mr. Cooley and his partner feel uncomfortable in any way. We’ve reached out to Mr. Cooley to offer our sincere apologies for what happened, refund his ticket and make this 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.
“Full LGBTQ equality is 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, and our efforts toward achieving a perfect score in HRC’s Equality Index. We’ll keep building on this commitment with our LGBTQ employee group, GLOBE.”
Cooley’s original Facebook post on Sunday: