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Orange County family says they were kicked off Delta flight afterargument over child's seat
An Orange County couple says they were kicked off a Los Angeles-
bound Delta flight last month after airline staff insisted their
2-year-old son could not sit by himself, even though the family
had already paid for the seat.
Brian and Brittany Schear of Huntington Beach told KABC-TV’s
“Eyewitness News” they were removed from the flight with their
two toddlers and had to scramble to find a hotel room. They
wound up paying $2,000 for another flight home the next day,
according to the report.
A video of the family’s April 23 clash with airline staff was
uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday. In the clip, employees of
either the airline or the airport can be heard threatening the
family with arrest if they don’t immediately leave the cabin.
“You and your wife will be in jail,” a female employee said,
after Brian Schear refused to exit the plane, according to the
Staff members began arguing with the Schears because they wanted
their 2-year-old son to be allowed to fly in an individual seat
while fastened into a car seat, according to the video. Brian
Schear told staff that the seat was originally intended for his
18-year-old son, Mason, who instead flew back to California on
an earlier flight.
“I paid for the seat,” Brian Schear said in the video. “This is
The employees can be heard telling Schear that both Delta’s
guidelines and Federal Aviation Administration rules stipulate
that a 2-year-old child must fly while seated on their parent’s
laps, but rules posted on each agency’s website appear to
On its company website, Delta recommends that children under the
age of 2 should fly in individual seats while secured in an
approved car seat.
FAA guidelines on flying with children offer similar advice,
according to the agency’s website.
Another employee can be heard saying the child could not fly
because the seat had been assigned to the family’s teenage son,
rather than the 2-year-old. (The family was also traveling with
a 1-year-old child, according to CBS2.)
Brian Schear insists to the employees that the family took a
Delta flight earlier in the week from Los Angeles to Maui with
their son fastened in a child safety seat and placed in an
“How did we get through security with two kids, two car seats,
go all the way through your gateway, and through the gate and
then they come down and say that we have to get off this plane?”
An employee insists they were simply trying to help the family,
prompting another irritated response from Brian Schear.
“Trying to help us would have been not overselling the flight
and not trying to get him out of that seat, that I paid for,” he
After several minutes of arguing, Brian Schear relented and
agreed to fly with his son in his lap. But at that point, the
flight staff ordered his family off the flight.
Once he was informed that his family was being removed from the
plane, Brian Schear asked where his family was supposed to stay
or how they were supposed to get back to Los Angeles.
“Sir, you should have thought about that in the beginning,” the
attendant responds. “At this point you guys are on your own.”
In a description attached to the YouTube video, the Schears
complained that Delta had overbooked the flight and immediately
replaced them with standby passengers.
An email sent to the Schear family and calls to Delta seeking
comment were not immediately returned Wednesday morning.
The dispute comes during a national discussion on airlines’
treatment of their customers that was sparked by a video of a
Kentucky doctor being bloodied and dragged when he refused to
leave an overbooked United flight in Chicago last month.
Earlier this week, legislators issued stern warnings to airline
executives during a hearing before the House Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure. Issues of overbooked flights
and poor customer service must be resolved immediately or else
Congress will step in, the legislators warned.
“If you want to keep treating us this way, fine,” said Rep.
Michael E. Capuano (D-Mass). “But there will come a day when
Congress won’t accept it anymore on behalf of the American
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