A California family was not able to go home as scheduled after a Delta Airline official reportedly booted them off a flight when they refused to give up a paid seat for their two-year-old child. The couple also had a one-year-old in tow and the official working with the airline threatened they could get jail time.
Reports identified the parents as Brian and Brittany Schear of Huntington Beach, California. The incident took place on April 23, NBC News reported.
A video showing the exchange between Brian and the Delta Airline officer surfaced online. Accordingly, the plane ticket was in the name of the couple's teenage son but he went home earlier so their two-year-old son could use the paid seat. When they boarded their flight, they had no issues but because there were too many passengers on the standby list, an officer approached them.
Brittany took the video and they uploaded it on Thursday this week. The Delta Airline agents said they could get kicked off the flight if they did not give up the seat. An officer said while the camera rolled, "So this is a federal offense. You and your wife could be in jail and your kids will be in foster care." Brian countered and asked the official why he had to give up the seat they paid for so that someone else could use it, noting it was not right.
The official said the ticket was under the name of their teenage son so the two-year-old could not sit there. Later, another employee stated the Federal Aviation Administration rules about a two-year-old not allowed to seat or occupy a car seat. The toddler had to sit in an adult's lap. Brian said when they flew to Maui, their two-year-old child sat in a car seat on his own seat on the plane. The Federal Aviation Administration's rule backed up Brian's claim as they urged parents to let toddlers sit alone in a plane seat provided they have a car seat.
Delta Airline did not explain why the family had to be removed. A spokesman pointed out the flight was not overbooked. They did say, however, that they were sorry for the unfortunate experience that the customers had. They reached out to those involved and offered a refund plus additional compensation.
This latest airline-related incident came weeks after United Airlines officials forced a doctor to give up his seat due to overbooking. The video became viral as the removal of the doctor, identified as David Dao, was violent and forceful.