SANTA ANA ( — 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.”

Comments (38)
  1. Sort of on Delta’s side here. Most everyone who travels knows if you don’t use a ticket, you can’t reassign to a friend or family member without arranging that in advance. If the person whose name is on the ticket doesn’t check in, that ticket and seat are surrendered based on the type of fare you purchased.

  2. David Tomb says:

    It doesn’t work that way. One person, regardless of age, cannot fly under the name of another person. There were likely additional rules that the purchaser agreed to, which prohibited changes – thus, they had to buy a new ticket for the child who changed flights. In this case, the customer is completely in the wrong. If they had checked in the unused ticket for the person who was not flying, then they are in serious violation of federal law, as that person was not present and had no intention to fly. It seems like they just didn’t want to pay the usual and customary change fees.

  3. As the man said, how did they get past checking in and past the gate.

  4. Arn Hansema says:

    He should get a lawyer and make sure these idiotcompanies learns not to do this….they will just keep doing it until it gets too expensive :/

  5. Sam C Park says:

    Here is the problem, there is being right, and there is being good for the customer. You can threaten arrest and scream and shout how Delta is right and you are wrong.

    And then the footage goes on YouTube and then Delta is groveling for forgiveness, providing ALOT more compensation than what it would have cost them to fix the situation on the spot and NOT HAVE IT SHOWN ALL OVER YOUTUBE.

    You may side with Delta, but you aren’t going to fly more to show that SUPPORT. However, triggered flyers are going to think twice about choosing Delta.

    Again, is being right better than being GOOD?

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