Teacher claims United gave away her first-class seat to a congresswoman
A teacher from Washington, D.C., accused United Airlines of booting her from her first class seat in order to give it to a congresswoman, she wrote in an account that the politician has since contested.
Jean-Marie Simon was at Bush International in Houston on her way home from a trip to Guatemala last week, when she witnessed U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) get ushered onto the plane before everyone else lined up, she wrote on Facebook.
When it came time for her to board the Dec. 18 flight, Simon said the gate attendant told her that her ticket was not in the system.
“A second United agent confirmed that I had no seat, not just the first class seat I had purchased, but no seat, period. I didn’t even have a reservation anymore,” she wrote.
When she was asked if she’d canceled her reservation, she said she hadn’t, she just wanted to get home.
“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,” she wrote.
The United attendant told her that united.com had changed her reservation about an hour earlier and that another passenger had been upgraded to her seat.
She said she was offered a $300 voucher or told that she could buy a seat on a flight with another airline.
“United lied to me, repeatedly. They put Jackson Lee on the plane and then tried to blame it… 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,” Simon said.
After being the last person to get on the plane, Simon said another Texas congressman who sat next to her told her that Jackson Lee had swiped her seat and that she “regularly does this.”
“Jackson Lee gives us all a bad name; it’s shameful,” he reportedly told her.
She decided to walk to the front of the plane and snap a photo of the rep in seat 1A.
Five minutes later, she said a flight attendant came over to ask if she was “going to cause any problems,” and warned her that she’d be escorted off the plane if she did, she wrote.
In a 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 to the Houston Chronicle.
“This saddens me,” she continued. “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 the congresswoman was accusing her of racism when she “had no idea who was in my seat when I complained.”
The airline maintains that she canceled her own flight.
Simon said she wants a formal, written apology from United.
“It’s just impossible to suspend disbelief and swallow that story that I canceled my flight,” Simon said.
machocamacho88: Who doesn’t love the American caste system?
just_to_annoy_you: Be pretty easy to look up the transaction logs on the server and find out exactly who made the cancellation. The fact they haven’t/won’t/didn’t, and accuse the person of doing it themselves suggests pretty clearly who did it.
Arkfort: This is another example of Coorporations selling out to politicians at the expense of civiliansand customers. This is a clear example of the kind of entitlement our Coorporate/Political Climate enables. The Elites should have their feet held to the fire.
Res_hits: So funny Lee pulls the race card.
phisher1: As always, embarrassed to be from the same city as that embarrassment and sad excuse of a representative of the people of Houston.
JimAtEOI: We could blame the horrible politician, or we could blame the people who voted for her, or we could blame the players who played them, or we could blame [the players above those players](http://endofinnocence.com/they-live-cabal-nwo-conspiracy/).
airzoom23: Is anyone surprised at all that Jackson Lee pulls the race card here? This is the type of lowest common denominator bullshit that her base loves.
polkadotgirl: Flying is getting worse and worse. I wrote a post about how flying will eventually be reserved or available only to the upper classes.
There are many reasons for this.
Justsaguy12345: Of course its her hah. The most annoying one there is.
primo_pastafarian: > She said she was offered a $300 voucher or told that she could buy a seat on a flight with another airline.
Hahahaha… that’s not how this works. If they can’t put you on another flight for free within a certain amount of time, they owe her a LOT more than $300.
gravitas73: How is Sheila Jackson Lee so fucking ugly?
ScoutKnuckleball: Why am I not surprised.
FuckingWhiteCisMale: Is Capitalising Every Word A Regular Practice Too?
Ikantbeliveit: Private business doing what it wants.
How are you not surprised that it isn’t always ethical?
I don’t care if the airline does this, just go to another one. Airport is full of ’em.
Or is the outrage here because the politician is a democrat?