You would think the airlines would have figured out by now that it’s a PR disaster to kick paying customers off their flights for bad reasons or in this case, what seems to be no reason at all.
It’s not like a flight is as cheap as riding a subway. From KTLA
An Orange County father says he, his wife and two children were recently kicked off a Los Angeles-bound Delta Air Lines flight after they were asked to give up a seat their youngest child was using.
Huntington Beach resident Brian Schear, who posted video of the April 23 incident on YouTube Wednesday, said he was on the flight leaving Maui with his wife and 1- and 2-year-old children, when they were approached by officials. They were asked to give up a seat he purchased for his older son — who was not on the flight — but was using for his younger son.
The airline officials then crossed a line
In the video, Schear is told that if he does not give up the seat he will be removed from the plane. It’s not clear whether the person who is initially talking to Schear is an airline employee or security. Another person tells Schear that not giving up his seat and being removed from the flight would be a federal offense and “you and your wife will be in jail.”
KTLA leaves out that the official also leveled the threat that the Schears “kids will be in foster care.” I don’t know what authorized her to say such a thing, but hopefully it costs her her job.
The Schear family eventually left, and had to purchase MORE tickets to get home from Hawaii. Luckily they live in an age where Delta’s nonsense doesn’t go unnoticed by the whole world.
After the eight-minute video gained nearly a million views and news media attention, Delta said Thursday afternoon it would refund the family for their travel and provide “additional compensation.”
Cool story Delta, but you’re now on my no-fly list.
The most obnoxious part of this latest episode in airline idiocy is that the reason why the Schear family was being kicked off is totally unclear because unlike the previous incident with United Airlines in April there was no overbooking. According to the rest of the KTLA story and the video below officials on the flight said that their baby needed to be in their lap, but FAA regulations tell a different story:
On Thursday, the FAA issued a statement in response to a KTLA inquiry about the situation, saying the agency’s safety regulations encourage parents to secure children in a separate seat “in an appropriate restraint based on weight and size.”
“The safest place for a young child under the age of two on an airplane is in a child restraint, not on a parent’s lap,” the FAA statement read.
See the report from Good Morning America below. I was originally going to post the original video, it was embedded and ready to go…but it was removed (presumably Mr. Schear) from YouTube altogether as I was writing this post. Which is unfortunate because it really was amazing to watch.