A Southern California family claimed to have been kicked off from a Delta Air Lines flight on April 23 after they refused to give up a seat they have paid for their teenage son to use it for their other 2-year-old child.
Brian Schear, the father, uploaded a video on You Tube of him getting into an argument with the airline’s officials when the latter insisted to have the seat surrendered for another passenger bound from Maui to Los Angeles.
“I bought the seat,” Brian Schear said as seen in the video. He also explained that he originally bought the seat for his 18-year-old-son who got on an earlier flight so the seat would be spared for his toddler sibling.
“It’s a red-eye. He won’t sleep unless he’s in his car seat. So, otherwise, he’d be sitting in my wife’s lap, crawling all over the place, and it’s not safe,” he added.
“Then they can remove me off the plane,” Schear responded to the agent when told that he would need to leave the plane if he fails to comply.
“You and your whole family?” asked the agent.
“Yeah, that’s fine,” Schear said.
“So, then, it’s going to be a federal offense,” another agent butted in, “and you and your wife will be in jail and your kids will be – .”
“We’re going to be in jail and my kids are going to be what?” Schear asked.
“It’s a federal offense if you don’t abide by it,” the agent added.
Once more, Schear pointed out that he bought the seat and it was not right to just give it away to someone else given the fact that he paid for it.
It was also seen in the video that an agent educated Schear on the Federal Aviation Administration regulations; saying that his toddler son would need to sit on an adult’s lap as he could not occupy a seat.
On the contrary, the FAA under ‘Flying with Children’ in fact states that youngsters are more secure to be seated on government-approved car seats and not on laps: “Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence.”
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight,” as further stated by the agency. “It’s the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination. The FAA is giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about your family’s travel plans.”
The issue, however, should focus on the fare rules which was clearly defined on Delta Air Lines website, stating: “all tickets are nontransferable per the fare rules. Name changes are not permitted.”
The agent then told Schear that it is too late for him to concede after expressing his intention to just give up and move on with the flight. His family would either have to exit the plane or all the passengers would have to be deplaned.
Schear asked: “So we’re getting off this plane no matter what now?”
“I told you guys at the beginning you had two options and now it’s come too far,” the agent replied.
“I have two infants, and nowhere to stay. There’s no more flights. What are we supposed to do – sleep in the airport?” he further exclaimed.
“At this point, you guys are on your own,” replied the agent.
Delta Air Lines was sorry for what happened. “Our team has reached out and will be talking with them to better understand what happened and come to a resolution,” it said in its statement to The Washington Post on Thursday.