California Family says Delta Forced them off Plane, Threatened Jail Time

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 6, 2017

Brian and Brittany Schear of Huntington Beach, California, told KABC-TV in Los Angeles that they were returning from Maui, Hawaii with their two-year-old son and one-year-old daughter.

Delta has quickly apologised for the incident, which was filmed by the mother, and has offered to compensate the family.

Schear told NBC that he originally purchased his three tickets on the plane for himself, his wife and his teenage son.

Brian Schear, who uploaded the clip to YouTube under the username "Brian S", can be heard arguing with an airline employee.

A voice is heard telling Schear that refusal to disembark would be "a federal offense" and that "you and your wife would go to jail".

"Then they can remove me off the plane", Schear says in the beginning of the clip. It's unclear. But the airlines actually advise that you keep your infant in a carseat on a seat while flying, so who can blame the guy for not going along with it. "This is what's ridiculous". However, after they boarded, airline agents told the family that the 2-year-old had to give up the seat for another passenger because the ticket was not in his name. This is technically against the rules because the seat was issued to the older son, not the younger son.

Delta's contract of carriage says: "Reservations and seat assignments are subject to cancellation if the passenger is not at the airport, has not completed the check-in process for his or her flight prior to the acceptable check-in deadlines, and is not at the gate and ready for boarding prior to the applicable boarding deadlines".

"I have two infants", Schear said, "and nowhere to stay".

The Schear couple were initially traveling with all three of their kids but their 18-year-old son Mason made a decision to travel on another plane, leaving his own seat to his two-year-old brother.

However, the FAA website actually encourages child restraint systems, or auto seats, for travel.

But, the Federal Aviation Administration recommends the exact opposite and "strongly urges" that infants be in a auto seat for the duration of a flight.

"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.

If you're not there, the airline has the right to allow someone else to take that seat, and you might be out of the total cost of your ticket.

According to the Schear family, a Delta gate agent said that plan would be fine.

Schear replied, "We're going to be in jail and my kids are going to be what?"

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In yet another incident that could prove to be a public relations nightmare for the U.S. airline industry, a California couple is claiming they were kicked off an overbooked Delta flight for refusing to give up their child's seat.

"We did not receive a refund and had to purchase all new tickets the next day".

"We are 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 another airline scandal surrounding overbooked flights in America Brian and Brittany Schear are now demanding an apology.

Later Thursday afternoon, Delta issued a revised statement on its website, saying the family would be issued a refund and further compensation.

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