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Alaska Airlines Apologizes After Asking Owner of Famed WeHo Gay Bar to Give up Seat by His Partner for Straight Couple

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Alaska Airlines issued an apology this week after a flight attendant asked the owner of West Hollywood hotspot the Abbey to make room for a straight couple by moving away from his partner.

David Cooley, the owner of the popular gay bar, took to Facebook on Sunday to detail the incident aboard Flight 1407 from New York to Los Angeles and said his partner was asked to move from his premium seat to coach "so a couple could sit together."

Cooley informed the attendant that he and his partner are a couple who also wanted to sit together. In response, his partner was given an ultimatum, Cooley said: Move or get off the plane.

"We could not bear the feeling of humiliation for an entire cross-country flight and left the plane," Cooley wrote. "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."

Alaska Airlines responded to Cooley's post via Twitter on Sunday and asked to speak with him. Then on Tuesday, after the incident had gained more attention, the carrier issued a public apology and blamed it on a "seating error."

"We are deeply sorry for the situation and did not intend to make Mr Cooley and his partner feel uncomfortable in any way," the airline wrote.

It also vowed to refund Cooley's airfare.

A company spokesperson told the New York Times it had launched an internal investigation was in the process of reviewing how it seats passengers to determine any changes required to ensure “a guest doesn’t feel the way that Mr. Cooley felt.”

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