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Dallas - In Latest Airline Video, Delta Boots Family From Flight Over Child's Seating

Published on: May 4, 2017 01:47 PM
Last updated on: May 4, 2017 02:05 PM
By: AP
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Dallas - A California family says they were forced off a Delta plane and threatened with jail after refusing to give up one of their children’s seats on a crowded flight.

A video of the April 23 incident was uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday and adds to the list of recent encounters on airlines that went viral, including the dragging of a passenger off a United Express plane.

Brian and Brittany Schear of Huntington Beach, California, told KABC-TV in Los Angeles that they were returning from Hawaii with their two toddlers when they were removed from the plane.

On the video, Brian Schear can be heard talking with a person off-camera — it is not clear whether that person is a Delta employee, a security officer, or somebody else.

Schear explains that he wants to put one of the toddlers in a seat originally purchased for his 18-year-old son. Schear says the older child returned home on an earlier flight.


Delta policy generally prohibits passengers from using a ticket bought in another person’s name. Federal regulations do not bar such a switch as long as the new passenger’s name can be run through a data base, according to a Transportation Security Administration spokesman.

After Schear says that the airline would have to remove him, the person off-camera replies, “You and your wife will be in jail ... it’s a federal offense if you don’t abide” by an airline crew’s order.

“I bought that seat,” Schear protests.

Schear then suggests that his wife could hold the toddler during takeoff and then put the youngster in the car seat. Another person, who appears to be a Delta supervisor, tells him that federal rules require that children under 2 must stay in a parent’s lap throughout the flight.

That is false. The Federal Aviation Administration “strongly urges” that infants be in a car seat, although it permits those under 2 to be held in a parent’s lap. On its website, Delta recommends that parents buy a seat for children under 2 and put them in an approved child-safety seat.

Delta issued a statement Thursday saying, “We’re sorry for what this family experienced. Our team has reached out and will be talking with them to better understand what happened and come to a resolution.” The Altanta-based airline did not immediately explain why the family was removed from the flight.

Congress held two hearings this week on airline customer service — a response to the video of Chicago airport security officers dragging a 69-year-old man off a United Express flight to make room for crew members who were traveling for work.

Executives from United, American, Southwest and Alaska testified at one or both hearings. Delta was notably absent.

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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »


 May 04, 2017 at 02:16 PM Joel Says:

This man is wrong. By sending off his older son on a different flight he gave up the seat and can not claim it. By not removing his child from that seat when asked by flight crew his is subject to removal for not following orders. Posting a video on the web doesn't make him right.


 May 04, 2017 at 03:18 PM Anonymous Says:

If you watch the video, you will see the outcome was the passenger's fault. If he would have agreed to let the kid sit on his wife's lap, that would have been the end of it. Eventually, because of his stubbornness, that offer was pulled & it was either deplane or we sit here indefinitely. I'm surprised the other passengers didn't wade in.


 May 04, 2017 at 04:41 PM Anonymous Says:

I leave to others to worry about the technicalities here, who's right or wrong. The issue is that the airlines are bullying their customers, and doing everything that the corporate world that cares about "customer satisfaction" says not to do. Sending these clips into the public domain calls attention. No, I am not okay with an individual consumer bullying the business/industry either. But there needs to be a better balance, and there isn't.

One additional point. The passenger flying on an airline has already been degraded by the current TSA nonsense that has yet to catch a terrorist or a bomb. Safety is great, but the average passenger reaches their seat with a feeling of having somehow survived the personal intrusions, and having spent usually considerable monies to travel. When the crews become pushy instead of accommodating, it is really unfair. I don't spend that much time on these stories, but it is a positive thing that these incidents are made public.


 May 04, 2017 at 05:31 PM Anonymous Says:

...and if the seat was just "empty", since the 18 yr old son wasn't there? why does the crew care if he sits his son there? absolute stupidity. Airlines are trying to outdo each other in customer dissatisfaction. I guess this guy's lucky he wasn't beaten.


 May 04, 2017 at 06:33 PM Nachum Says:

According to the law, an infant can occupy an airline seat, as long as they are in an approved baby seat. Hence, the flight crew was wrong regarding their statement, that the Father was in violation of federal law. In fact, their infant occupied a separate seat, with a child seat, on the flight to Hawaii. The airlines have become chazzahs, and their tactics of kicking peaceful passengers off a flight, is going to backfire. The aggrieved parties should hire Mr. Thomas Desiderio of Chicago; he will teach Delta a lesson. When Delta is hit in the pocketbook bigtime, they will change their arrogant and greedy ways. Incidentally, what right did the idiotic flight attendants have in threatening to have the children of the parents taken away, while they were in jail? Are they now judges? Please!!


 May 05, 2017 at 01:26 AM Anonymous Says:

The guy should have called the airline to change the name on the reservation. Having said that, the airline employees should provide customer service.


 May 05, 2017 at 01:30 AM Anonymous Says:

The Delta employee is retarded!! I've traveled with a baby in a car seat numerous times. It is actually preferred and safer than holding the child. unbelievable. They should get reimbursed in a major way and the employees fired. They obviously oversold the flight and wanted that seat.


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