SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Add it to the list of recent airline fiascos caught on tape.
An Orange County family is demanding an apology from Delta Airlines after they said they were kicked off a flight and threatened with jail time if they refused to get off an LAX-bound flight last month.
The father is heard saying on tape, “Well, you should have thought of that before you oversold the flight. I bought that seat.”
The flight was headed to LAX from Maui. Brian Schear of Huntington Beach says his family was kicked off the flight.
Cellphone video captured the moment when they were asked to deplane.
An employee appears to tell the father if he doesn’t comply, his entire family — wife and kids included — would find themselves in jail.
“We’re going to be in jail?” he asks incredulously.
Schear said his family was buckled up and ready to fly home. He was told he would have to give up his son’s seat.
He says when he refused, the airline then told him the entire family would have to go.
Schear was flying with his wife, his young son and daughter after a family vacation. The family bought four tickets.
At the last minute, their teen took an earlier flight home. Their young children, aged 1 and 2, were initially going to sit on their parents’ laps, but the couple could keep the third seat that they bought and put one of the toddlers in a car seat.
Schear said the airline told him that because his oldest son wasn’t using the ticket, they needed to give the seat to another passenger.
He says the problem was the plane was overbooked.
On video, he asks the employee, “So what are we supposed to do? I’ve got two infants, nowhere to stay, there’s no more flights. What am I supposed to do? Sleep in the airport?”
“We never thought it was going to get to the point where they were actually getting us all off the flight,” Schear told CBS2’s Stacey Butler. “As we were leaving the plane, there’s four or five passengers waiting for our seat. The bottom line is, they oversold the flight.”
Butler asked the airline if they caused the problem by overbooking the flight. They said in a statement:
“We are sorry for what this family experienced. Our team has reached out, and we will be talking with them to better understand what happened and come to a resolution.”
Schear said he lost their seats, got no refund and had to book a hotel room and buy three more plane tickets the next day. He told Butler he doesn’t want any money back – he just wants an apology from Delta.
On Thursday, Delta issued the following statement:
“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’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.”