Delta Air Lines “Sorry” After Dispute With Family Over Child Seat on Maui to LA Flight

May 4, 2017, 7:27 PM HST · Updated May 5, 11:19 AM
Wendy Osher · 95 Comments
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Delta Air Lines responded today following a dispute with a family that was booked on Flight 2222 from Maui to Los Angeles, California on April 23, 2017.

“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,” Delta Airlines said in a statement.

“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,” the airline said.

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The apology comes after a dispute in which Brian Schear along with his wife and two children, ages 1 and 2, were removed from the flight when he refused to give up a seat that his two year old was sitting in.

(Image: Brian Schear/YouTube)

Schear posted an eight minute video to the internet, garnering more than 2.5 million views since it was posted yesterday.

In the video, Schear was warned that if he did not abide it would be considered a federal offense, and he would be removed from the flight. In the video he was told that if he did not comply, “You and your wife will be in jail and your kids will be put in foster care.”

He explains that he purchased the seat for his older teenage son, but decided to send his older son home on an earlier flight so that he could use the seat for his toddler.

“I bought that seat… I got him (Schear’s older son) a ticket on another flight. You’re saying you’re going to give that away to someone else when I paid for that seat. That’s not right,” said Schear.

On the way out to Maui, Schear said the flight was open, but noted that it was difficult to have a lap-child, so he decided to get the teenager a ticket on an earlier flight so the seat could be used by one of the infant children.

Schear said the family decided to put the child in a car seat on the flight so that he could sleep, since it was a red-eye flight. “It’s a red-eye. He won’t sleep unless he’s in his car seat. So otherwise, he’ll be sitting in my wife’s lap crawling all over the place, and it’s not safe,” said Schear.

The FAA states that the safest place for your child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system (CRS) or device, not on your lap. According to the FAA: “Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence.”

The Federal Aviation Administration “strongly urges you to secure your child in a CRS or device for the duration of your flight. It’s the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination.”

During the video, a worker explained to Schear that the two-year-old cannot be in a car seat and must be accommodated in the lap of a parent.

The family was then given the option of getting off the flight, or have the whole flight deplaned.

In the video summary, Schear claims the airline oversold the flight, and ended up filling the four seats with four customers that had tickets but no seats.

The incident occurred on a red-eye flight, leaving Schear and his family stranded on Maui at around midnight, where they ended up purchasing a hotel room and new airline tickets the following day.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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