Another major airline is facing major controversy after a family says they were kicked off an overbooked Delta flight because they refused to give up their two-year-old son’s seat.
According to KABC, the Schear Family says they were flying from Hawaii to Los Angeles when airline staff asked them to give up their son’s seat and carry him on their laps for the duration of the flight.
“You’re saying you’re gonna give that away to someone else when I paid for that seat?” Brian Schear says to an airline employee. “That’s not right.”
The seat was originally bought for Schear’s 18-year-old son, but the family sent him on an earlier flight so their younger son can have a seat and he was placed in a car seat.
A member of the airline staff says they need the seat because the flight is overbooked and the original passenger whose name was on the seat wasn’t on the plane. The staff person adds that under FAA regulations, 2-year-old children are not supposed to have their own seats at all and are supposed to sit in parents’ laps for the duration of the flight.
“With him being two, he cannot sit in the car seat,” one airline employee tells him. “He has to sit in your arms the whole time.”
The accuracy of the statement is unclear, as both the FAA and Delta websites appear to encourage parents to buy separate seats for young children and use a child safety restraint system.
When the family agreed to hold their son and give up the seat, it was too late. The airline staff said the family needed to leave.
The airline staff tells him One airline employee tells him that under The Schears told NBC News they were then forced to find their own hotel, transportation and purchase new tickets for a flight the next day — all after midnight.
KABC reports the airline also said the family was not kicked off the plane because the flight was overbooked but did not offer additional details as to why the family was taken off the flight.