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article imageParents, toddlers kicked off Delta plane over seat they bought

By Arthur Weinreb     May 5, 2017 in Travel
Another airline video has surfaced showing a Delta employee telling parents they would end up in jail and their toddlers put into care if they did not leave the plane. Conflicting rules led up to the incident.
Brian and Brittany Schear, and their children ages 18, two and one, were attempting to fly home to California from Maui on Apr. 23. The Schears had purchased three seats on the plane, intending to have the toddlers sit on their parents lap.
And the last moment, it was decided their 18-year-old, Mason, would catch an earlier flight and Schear had a car seat so the two-year-old could sit in it on the seat originally purchased for the teen. Schear’s reasoning was the toddler would sleep on the red eye flight if he was in a car seat while he would be climbing all over the place if he was on the lap of one of his parents.
Schear said he checked with a Delta agent prior to boarding and the agent told him this would be fine.
Delta employees approached Schear when he was seated on the plane and as soon as this happened, the interaction between Schear and the employees was filmed by another passenger and then uploaded to YouTube. Schear gave his explanation about using the 18-year-old’s seat for the two-year-old and was told he could not do that. He kept saying he could use the seat for his two-year-old because he paid for it.
Schear was told if the family did not leave the plane, they would be forcibly removed. He was threatened he and his wife would end up going to jail and the toddlers would be taken from them. In the end, Schear agreed to give up the seat but that was not good enough; the family was forced to leave the plane.
The flight was fully booked. It was the position of the Delta employees that since the seat was booked in Mason’s name and he did not show up for the flight, the seat was freed up and could be sold to another passenger.
Conflicting airline regulations partly to blame
As the Los Angeles Times noted, several regulations were involved in the decision, some of them conflicting. The law requires all passengers 18 and older provide identification matching that of the person whose name is on the boarding pass. Those under 18 do not have to show ID. As the Times noted, it became murky at this point because there was no way Delta could know the two-year-old was not Mason.
Delta rules allow children under the age of two to be held on the lap of an adult. If an adult has more than one child under that age, a seat must be purchased for that child and they must be strapped into a car seat. All children two years of age and older must have their own seats.
But the FAA recommends adults purchase seats for young children because it is safer. Earlier this week, 27 people on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Bangkok were seriously injured when the plane unexpectedly hit turbulence. Among the injured were three babies who were reported to have broken spines after they were ripped from their mothers’ arms.
READ ALSO: Aeroflot plane encounters severe turbulence, 27 seriously injured
Delta Airlines Apologizes
After the video was posted, Delta issued a statement yesterday afternoon. The airline said they were sorry for what happened and have reached out to the Schears. The statement went on to say the family will receive a refund as well as additional compensation. The company further said they try to work with passengers to resolve issues and that was clearly not the case here. Delta apologized for what had happened.
After spending an additional $2,000, the family flew home the following day.
READ ALSO: Man kicked off Delta flight for using washroom prior to takeoff
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