A Southern California family said they were kicked off a Delta red-eye flight in late April after they refused to give up a seat they had purchased for their teenage son and were attempting to use for their two-year-old, according to the Washington Post.
Brian and Brittany Schear got into an argument with airline officials after being told they had to give up their child's seat for another passenger.
In the video, Brian Schear explains to officials that he had originally purchased the seat for his 18-year-old son, but sent him on a different flight so the two-year-old could sit in his car seat on the airplane. But, because, airlines prohibit the transfer of tickets among passengers, the seat was given to another passenger even though the Schears originally purchased the ticket.
An official explained that unless Schear complied, he would have to be escorted off the plane.
“Then they can remove me off the plane,” he replied.
“You and your whole family?” the agent asked.
“Yeah, that’s fine,” he said.
“So, then, it’s going to be a federal offense,” another agent quickly chimed in, “and you and your wife will be in jail and your kids will be .”
“We’re going to be in jail and my kids are going to be what?” Schear interrupted.
“It’s a federal offense if you don’t abide by it,” she said.
“I bought that seat,” Schear said. “You’re saying you’re going to give that away to someone else when I paid for that seat. That’s not right.”
In the video, Delta officials are seen explaining to Schear that the toddler needs to sit in the lap of an adult, not in his own car seat. However, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), children are safer in government-approved car seats, not on laps.
“Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence," the FAA said.
“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight,” the agency continued. “It’s the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination. The FAA is giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about your family’s travel plans.”
Following the incident, Delta said it was "sorry" for what the Schears went through.
“Our team has reached out and will be talking with them to better understand what happened and come to a resolution,” the airline said in a statement Thursday morning to The Washington Post.