Delta Airlines may have just outplayed United Airlines in the competition for the worst public-relations scandal of 2017.
While United Airlines seemed an early winner after it dragged a passenger off a flight, Delta Airlines one-upped them by threatening to put a family in jail (and their two toddlers in foster care) after the parents refused to give up a child’s seat.
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In what seems like a bizarre competition between Delta Airlines and United Airlines, U.S. airlines are causing large-scale outrage among social media users, with many being afraid to travel by plane.
Just several weeks after United Airlines took the global mediasphere by storm for physically removing a Vietnamese-American doctor from a flight – breaking his nose and teeth in addition to inflicting a concussion – Delta Airlines caused global outrage with its own stunt.
— Moab Stugots???????? (@Morty_Fied) May 4, 2017
Delta Airlines kicked a family off a flight from Maui to Los Angeles — a family traveling with two toddlers, a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old — after they refused to give up a child’s seat.
A YouTube video of the incident, which took place on April 23 but made headlines only after the video was posted online this past Wednesday, shows a Delta Airlines crew member threatening the family with jail and putting their kids in foster care. The YouTube video has since been taken down.
“This is a federal offense and then you and your wife will be in jail and your kids will be in foster care.”
A controversial and disturbing video went viral last month showing passenger Dr. David Dao, who traveled with United Airlines, being dragged off the flight after refusing to give up his seat so that four United Airlines staff members could board the flight.
While Dr. Dao has since settled the incident in court for an undisclosed sum, the most recent Delta Airlines controversy involving Brian and Brittany Schear and their two infant children is raging on the internet and all over social media.
The YouTube video, which is already the No. 2 trending video on the video streaming platform, shows the family being kicked off the plane following a heated argument with one of Delta Airlines’ officials.
After the incident, the Schear family spoke to NBC News and revealed that they had initially purchased a ticket from Maui to Los Angeles for their teenage son, but he got to L.A. earlier so that their other child, a 2-year-old, could have a seat on that flight.
The Schears, who also had a 1-year-old traveling with them that night, claim that a Delta Airlines gate agent knew about their situation and allowed them to board the flight.
But on the plane, the couple were approached by another Delta Airlines crew member, who said that their toddler son could not sit on the seat registered in their other son’s name.
The Schears refused to give up the seat, and the crew member started threatening them with jail and foster care for their kids if they don’t agree to get off the plane.
Recalling the horrors of the recent United Airlines incident, Mrs. Schear grabbed her phone and started filming the whole thing. While the 2-year-old was sitting in a government-approved child safety seat, the crew member said the infant child had to sit in an adult’s lap as he claimed CSC seats had been banned under FAA regulations.
On its official website, however, the FAA says it “strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight.”
— Arina Todoric (@arinag33) May 5, 2017
After Mr. Schear agreed to hold the 2-year-old in his lap, the crew member said that the family would still have to be removed because “it’s come too far.”
When Mr. Schear said that there was nowhere for his family to go and there were no more flights that night, the crew member said, “You guys are on your own.”
The family then left the plane, and Mr. Schear claims that their four seats were immediately filled with four other people, suggesting that Delta Airlines had already oversold the flight.
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On Thursday, Delta Airlines apologized for the incident and said in a statement it was “sorry for the unfortunate experience,” according to Fortune.
[Featured Image by Branden Camp/AP Images]