DAMAGE CONTROL

Delta Apologizes for Kicking Family Off Flight

Delta Air Lines on Thursday issued an apology for an incident last month in which an entire family was kicked off a flight, the latest customer-service fiasco to hit the airline industry. Brian and Brittany Schear were flying from Maui to Los Angeles on April 23 when they say airline employees told them they had to give up a seat occupied by their 2-year-old to another passenger. In the video, airline employees can be heard providing a range of reasons for the move, first saying it was a violation of rules to have their toddler sit in the seat rather than the teenage son they’d purchased the ticket for. Schear had explained that his teenage son caught a different flight and the family had already paid for the ticket, so decided to let their toddler have the seat. A Delta employee then provided another argument, telling him he had to give up the seat because FAA rules prohibit a toddler from sitting in the seat during the flight, even if in a car seat.

When Schear again refused, an employee threatened jail time. “So, then, it’s going to be a federal offense and you and your wife will be in jail and your kids will be...” the employee can be heard telling Schear, before he cut her off. The entire family was eventually ejected from the plane and told that they were “on their own,” despite Schear’s offer to cooperate. “I have two infants and nowhere to stay. There’s no more flights. What are we supposed to do—sleep in the airport?” he asked. After the video went viral this week, Delta issued a statement Thursday apologizing for the family’s “travel issues.” “We are sorry for the unfortunate experience our customers had with Delta and we’ve reached out to them to refund their travel and provide additional compensation,” the company said.