In the wake of the increased scrutiny on the airline industry following the recent incident where a doctor was literally dragged off an overbooked flight, another, similarly stunning incident has come to light.
A Southern California family was reportedly kicked off their recent flight from Hawaii after they refused to give up a seat for their two year old son. The family was then left trying to find a hotel room at around midnight and had to spend thousands of dollars on a flight with United Airlines the next day just to get back home.
Making the whole case even more bizarre is the fact that although flight attendants told the affected family at the time of the incident that they wanted them to hold their young son instead of sitting him in a seat due to overbooking, the official statement from Delta on the situation says that the family wasn’t kicked off due to overbooking.
Delta told a Southern California ABC affiliate: “We’re sorry for what this family experienced. Our team has reached out and will be talking with them to better understand what happened and come to a resolution.”
In a video of the incident, an airlines employee who clearly has no idea what she’s talking about tells Brian Schear: “You have to give up the seat or you’re going to jail, your wife is going to jail and they’ll take your kids from you.”
The Schears had two children under the age of 2 with them on the flight, and they have at least one more child, who wasn’t with them at the time of the incident. The airline employee, of course, almost certainly didn’t have any standing to declare that the Schears could face jail time and lose custody of their children for not giving up their seat.
The airline employee tried to convince the Schears to hold their two year old son during the flight, wrongly claiming that such is in line with protocol. She claimed that the two year old’s seat was the airline’s to take because the person whose name was on the ticket wasn’t the one actually in the seat.
Indeed; the seat was originally meant for the Schears’ 18 year old son, but he ended up going home on an earlier flight. Brian Schear eventually consented to holding his son for the duration of the flight — but airline staff said that it was “too late” and forced them off the plane.
Watch video of the incident below.
Featured Image via Robert Alexander/Getty Images