A woman pre-purchased a First Class Seat on United but when boarding found she no longer had the seat but was instead bumped down to economy class. Upon looking into what happened, she found Sheila Jackson Lee. D-Houston sitting in the seat she purchased.
A passenger on a flight from Houston to Washington D.C. has accused United Airlines of giving her first-class seat to U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. D-Houston, and then threatening to remove her from the plane for complaining and snapping a photo of the Houston congresswoman.
“It was just so completely humiliating,” said Jean-Marie Simon, a 63-year-old attorney and private school teacher who used 140,000 miles on Dec. 3 to purchase the first-class tickets to take her from Washington D.C. to Guatemala and back home.
When it came time to board the last leg of her flight home from George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Dec. 18, after a roughly hour-long weather delay, Simon said the gate attendant scanned her paper ticket and told her it was not in the system.Did you cancel your flight?, the attendant asked.
“No,” she said she replied. “I just want to go home.”
Her seat, 1A, was taken, she was told. Simon was given a $500 voucher and reseated in row 11, Economy Plus.
Simon later learned that Jackson Lee was in her pre-purchased seat and has alleged that the congresswoman received preferential treatment, which United denies.
Here comes the BS story from United.
“After thoroughly examining our electronic records, we found that upon receiving a notification that Flight 788 was delayed due to weather, the customer appears to have canceled her flight from Houston to Washington, D.C. within the United mobile app,” United said in a statement. “As part of the normal pre-boarding process, gate agents began clearing standby and upgrade customers, including the first customer on the waitlist for an upgrade.”
Simon denies that she cancelled her ticket. She sent a reporter a screenshot of the United website showing only one “inactive” reservation – a flight to Houston in August to visit her daughter that she had to cancel because of Hurricane Harvey.
A United official said screenshot doesn’t show the December flight as cancelled because she ultimately took the flight.
Out comes Jackson Lee’s weapon of choice: The Race Card
In her statement, Jackson Lee said she overheard Simon speaking with an African-American flight attendant and saw her snap the photo.
“Since this was not any fault of mine, the way the individual continued to act appeared to be, upon reflection, because I was an African American woman, seemingly an easy target along with the African American flight attendant who was very, very nice,” Jackson Lee said in the statement. “This saddens me, especially at this time of year given all of the things we have to work on to help people. But in the spirit of this season and out of the sincerity of my heart, if it is perceived that I had anything to do with this, I am kind enough to simply say sorry.”
Simon said Jackson Lee’s statement accused her of racism, adding: “I had no idea who was in my seat when I complained at the gate that my seat had been given to someone else,” she said. “There is no way you can see who is in a seat from inside the terminal.”
About five minutes after Simon took the photo on the plane, Simon said, another flight attendant sat next her and asked if she “was going to be a problem.”
Looks like United was threatening that lady. Remember what they did to that one passenger back last April who they wanted off a flight he paid to be on.