Delta Kicked This Family Off A Plane For Refusing To Give Up Their Toddler's Seat

On the heels of the United debacle, another airline has a PR disaster on its hands. Delta kicked a couple and their two toddlers off a flight last month, and now, the family's speaking out about the treatment they received.
Brian and Brittany Shear were headed to Hawaii from Los Angeles and had bought seats for themselves and their 18-year-old Mason. Then, they decided Mason would leave on an earlier flight, and their two-year-old Grayson would take his seat. Grayson had a car seat, in accordance with Delta's recommendations.
After they'd sat down, an employee told the couple that the flight was overbooked (though Delta told KABC-TV’s Eyewitness News it was not, in fact, overbooked) and they'd have to give up Grayson's seat, since his name wasn't on a ticket. "You and your wife will be in jail," she says in a video of the incident.
"You’re saying you’re gonna give that away to someone else when I paid for that seat?" Brian says, suggesting that the airline instead not let the other person who booked the seat on. "You need to do what’s right. I bought the seat and you need to just leave us alone." He offered to keep Grayson in his lap but was still ordered to leave.
Just a few weeks ago, Delta gave a family $11,000 of American Express gift cards as an incentive to leave an overbooked flight. Then, the Associated Press leaked a memo in which Delta tells employees that supervisors can offer up to $9,950 for this purpose.
But the employee who approached the Shears didn't offer them anything. "What are we supposed to do once we're off this plane?" Brian asked. "That is not up to me," she responded. "At this point, you guys are on your own." The later flight they eventually got onto cost them $2,000.
Delta's trying to make up for that (and salvage its reputation) now, though. "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 airline said in a statement to People. "Delta’s goal is to always work with customers in an attempt to find solutions to their travel issues. That did not happen in this case and we apologize."

More from Travel

R29 Original Series