Woman accuses United Airlines of giving her First class seat to US Congresswoman
United Airlines is back in the news for treating another passenger like garbage…again!
A teacher from Washington, D.C. Jean-Marie Simon, says she was returning home from a trip to Guatemala back to the United states when her First class seat was given to a Democratic Congresswoman. She said, she selected four first class seats at time of purchase. United provided an email confirmation with a receipt and the four seat designations to her and everything was fine, until she got to Houston for the final leg of her flight to Washington, D.C.
She said after being lied to by United Airline agents that the plane was having problems, she says she waited to board the plane after a short weather delay, and just before getting on she saw a woman she didn’t recognize ushered onboard the plane by a flight attendant before everyone else.
However, when she tried to board the plane, the gate agent scanned her ticket, but could not find her seat. She tried for several minutes to pull up Simon’s reservation, but she had been wiped from the system. Afterwards, they allowed her board the plane and sat her in an economy seat.
However, when she looked ahead, she saw that she had been bumped out of her first-class seat on United Flight 788 from Bush International Airport in Texas to Reagan National Airport in D.C. and replaced with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
According to her:
Simon wrote in a lengthy Facebook post detailing the event.” data-reactid=”33″ style=”-webkit-text-stroke-width:0px; background-color:transparent; color:#26282a; font-family:Helvetica Neue,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size:15px; font-style:normal; font-variant:normal; font-weight:400; letter-spacing:normal; margin-bottom:15px; margin-left:0px; margin-right:0px; margin-top:0px; orphans:2; text-align:left; text-decoration:none; text-indent:0px; text-transform:none; white-space:normal; word-spacing:0px” type=”text”>“I said I wanted my seat, that I had paid a lot of miles for that seat, and that it was United’s responsibility to undo the seat assignment and return it to me, the person who had paid for it,” Simon wrote in a lengthy Facebook post detailing the event.
When she tried to complain to the flight attendants, they threatened to kick her off the plane. She went to the front of the plane to her original first class seat and took a photo of the congresswoman.
“Five minutes later, a flight attendant sat down next to me and asked if I was going to be a “problem” on the flight. I asked if she heard me shouting or complaining. She said no, but I had taken a photo. (Taking photos is not illegal: if I had been a happy constituent of Jackson Lee and had asked to take a photo with Jackson Lee, she would happily have complied.) The flight attendant said that security would remove me from the plane if I “created problems.” I said I just wanted to get home. I said to her, to paraphrase, “Why should someone get a seat I paid for?” She responded that the person had Global Services status. In fact, Jackson Lee boarded even before Global Services was invited to board, not to mention that the first class seat was mine regardless of Jackson Lee’s priority status.
The flight attendant went back to the front of the cabin and I spent the next five minutes wondering if I was going to be escorted off the plane by an armed security guard. The flight took off and landed late at Reagan National in DC.
United lied to me, repeatedly. They put Jackson Lee on the plane and then tried to blame it on a late incoming flight, another airline, my cell phone, united.com, Global Services, and on everybody but the United employee who deliberately erased my seat, my ticket, and my name from the system in order to accommodate a member of Congress who repeatedly bullies his/her way into favored status.
United has some wonderful employees, like the gate agents at Reagan National and some flight attendants who, if there’s a war, I want on my side. But unfortunately, what one most remembers is the humiliation and expense wrought by United, who apparently believes that we all should be lucky to be flying the friendly skies with an airline that treats the paying public like dirt.
Read the rest here.
After she reported the case to United Airlines, they offered to return the 140,000 miles she spent in buying the First class seats and offered her a $500 voucher, but never apologized to her for the way she was treated.
Then she added: