We have recently featured “challenges” that both United and American have had with their passengers. Seems that it is now Delta’s turn to be in the spotlight.
Delta decided to kick out a family (parents and two small kids) from Maui – Los Angeles flight on April 23rd and, as is now often the case, there is a video of the incident.
Here’s what the family wrote on YouTube:
Here is a video of Delta airlines booting myself, my wife and my 2 children ages 1 and 2 off delta flight 2222 April 23 from Maui to LAX. They oversold the flight and asked us to give up a seat we purchased for my older son that my younger son was sitting in. You will hear them lie to me numerous times to get my son out of the seat.The end result was we were all kicked off the flight. They then filled our 4 seats with 4 customers that had tickets but no seats. They oversold the flight. When will this all stop? It was midnight in Maui and we had to get a hotel and purchase new tickets the following day.
Here’s Inside Edition’s take:
Here’s an excerpt from Washington Post about the conversation on the video (access the piece here):
Later in the video, an agent can be heard telling Schear that according to Federal Aviation Administration regulations, his 2-year-old son could not occupy a seat during the flight and would need to sit in an adult’s lap.
Schear explained that his toddler had been strapped into a car seat in his own seat on the destination flight, but the agent brushed him off.
In actuality, the FAA states that children are safer in government-approved car seats — not on laps, saying, “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,” the agency states. “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.”
And here’s an excerpt from Los Angeles Times (access the piece here):
An employee insists they were simply trying to help the family, prompting another irritated response from Brian Schear.
“Trying to help us would have been not overselling the flight and not trying to get him out of that seat, that I paid for,” he said.
After several minutes of arguing, Brian Schear relented and agreed to fly with his son in his lap. But at that point, the flight staff ordered his family off the flight.
Once he was informed that his family was being removed from the plane, Brian Schear asked where his family was supposed to stay or how they were supposed to get back to Los Angeles.
Their 18 year old son had taken earlier flight back to Los Angeles, although he was originally ticketed on this flight. Seems that they tried to use his seat for one of the toddlers.
As is often the case with airline employees, the Flight Attendant speaking on the video threatening them with jail and putting the kids in foster care and lying about the FAA regulations that Delta ought to adhere to should probably not be in this line of business. Why make up stuff like this?
And I am not saying that the family is right here. Airline employees should, however, have some training on how to treat people with respect and diffuse tricky situations.
The family here was at the end willing to have the toddler as lap infant. This was not enough to Delta at that point. They wanted the family out in order to board standby passengers (flight might have been oversold).