Delta ‘sorry’ for booting family off a plane over seating mix-up
NEW YORK– Delta is apologizing for kicking a family with two young children off a flight after the customers already boarded.
The incident occurred on April 23, but footage of the ordeal was just posted to YouTube on May 3 by Brian Schear, the customer who can be seen arguing with a flight attendant during an eight-minute exchange.
At issue was a seat the man’s infant son was in. That seat was booked under the name of Schear’s older son, who took an earlier flight.
The family members who were on board the flight — Schear, his wife and their one- and two-year-old children — were eventually escorted off the aircraft and flew to their destination on a later flight with a different airline.
“We are sorry for the unfortunate experience our customers had with Delta, and we’ve reached out to them to refund their travel and provide additional compensation,” the airline said in a statement issued Thursday. “Delta’s goal is to always work with customers in an attempt to find solutions to their travel issues. That did not happen in this case and we apologize.”
Schear can be heard in the video repeatedly saying that he paid for the seat in which his infant son was sitting. He said it “isn’t right” that the airline was asking him to give it up.
He said he bought his older son a seat on a different flight so that his infant son could sit a car seat instead of his mother’s lap during the overnight trip. “He can’t sleep unless he’s in his car seat,” the father is heard saying.
An official can be heard telling the man that it’s federal policy that whoever occupies a seat on an aircraft must be the person whose name is booked for that seat. The official also tells the man he will “go to jail” if he doesn’t cooperate.
Delta says the flight was not overbooked, but there were passengers waiting to fly standby, which is why they were trying to make room on the flight.
The incident occurred on Delta flight 2222, which is an overnight trip from Hawaii to Los Angeles.
Footage of the ordeal has racked up nearly 900,000 views on YouTube since it was posted Wednesday.
Disastrous airline travel stories have made headlines numerous times in recent weeks.
On April 9, a man was dragged, bloodied and screaming, from a United Airlines flight after he refused to give up his seat for crew members. The victim, Dr. David Dao, reached a settlement with United last week.
And American Airlines is investigating after footage of a crying mother on an April 21 flight surfaced on social media. It shows the mom in tears during a confrontation between her and a flight attendant.