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Piss poor customer service reigns supreme

United: We’ve finally reached a settlement with the passenger we had airport security beat up and dragged off the plane. Whew! That was awful!

Delta: Hmmmmmmm…. free publicity. Watch this!

The Schear family of Huntington Beach says they were flying from Hawaii to Los Angeles last week when airline staff asked them to give up a seat occupied by their 2-year-old son and carry him on their laps for the duration of the flight.

They tried to refuse and argued with airline staff, but say they were threatened with being sent to jail.

[…]

“You’re saying you’re gonna give that away to someone else when I paid for that seat?” Brian Schear says to an airline employee. “That’s not right.”

Eventually he agreed to hold his son on his lap for the flight – but it was too late. The airline said the whole family had to leave.

Unlike United, Delta did have a clause in their Contract of Carriage that specifically states transport can be refused “when the passenger …fails to obey the instruction of any member of the flight crew.” So, they were well within their right to kick a passenger who was being uncooperative with the instructions of the flight crew off the flight.

Thing is:

  1. The passenger – after being threatened with jail – agreed to give up the seat he paid for and hold his toddler in his lap.
  2. The whole family was booted off anyway.
  3. The flight attendant tells the passenger that per FAA rules, two-year-old child cannot have their own seats, and must sit in their parents’ laps the entire time. Unless I’m missing something, that is a blatant lie..

When traveling with a baby, most commercial airlines define an infant as less than two years old (no more than 24 months of age). Since children vary in size, it’s recommended that parents travel with the child’s birth certificate if he or she is between one and two years of age. Most airlines require children under two to be accompanied by an adult over 18 years of age. However, some allow the adult to be only 14.

If the child meets the age requirement, parents are not required to buy a kid’s airline ticket for a domestic flight as long as the child is traveling with a paying ticketed adult. Instead, children under two can legally ride on the parent’s lap. For international flights, lap children may have to pay 10 percent of the adult fare and taxes and surcharges may be applicable. The airline might even require them to have a paper ticket purchased at the 10 percent rate.

Nothing I have seen specifies that a child who is two years old cannot fly in a car seat in his own seat and must sit in a parent’s lap, as the flight attendant claims. Nothing. As a matter of fact, the FAA specifies that “Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence.” 

So Delta lied.

And Delta, on its own company website recommends children under the age of 2 should fly in individual seats while secured in an approved car seat, and the LA Times spoke with FAA spokeswoman Allison Duquette, who told them FAA rules only govern safety, and there is no written federal policy about the use of an assigned seat by a passenger who is not the person the ticket was originally purchased for, as the airline staff claimed in the video, according to FAA spokeswoman Allison Duquette, who said FAA rules only govern safety.

So Delta lied again.

So once again the plane is overbooked, the passengers are already seated in the seats for which they paid, and the employee attempts to force them to vacate one seat by forcing them to hold a toddler in their lap for five hours by threatening them with jail and lying to them. And when the threat worked, and they grudgingly agreed, they were thrown off the flight anyway, and their seats were given away, while they had to purchase new tickets at the bargain price of $2000 the next day to get home. They were not belligerent. They were not a threat to anyone’s safety. And yet, the airline decided to kick them off anyway.

I suppose their claim that they originally bought the seat for one child, but then used it for their second child, so therefore the first child is technically a no-show, so they can give the seat away, does hold some merit – technically. However, I would submit that this is the shittiest, most repugnant excuse for customer service I’ve seen since United had Dr. Dao dragged off its plane limp and bloodied. Fact is they paid for this seat. Fact is they lied to him about FAA regulations. Fact is THEY THREATENED HIM WITH JAIL! Literally, jail – for the heinous crime of wanting to retain the seat for which he had already paid. Fact is they booted off this family even though, the video clearly shows the passenger kept his cool and in the end agreed to take the child in his lap.

After relenting, and then being told that the family will have to leave the flight anyway, the passenger asks what he’s supposed to do – at midnight – and how he’s supposed to get home. The flight cunt replies “Sir, you should have thought about that in the beginning. At this point you guys are on your own.”

I’m beginning to suspect that unless you shell out hundreds of dollars extra to fly first or business class, you’re nothing but a nuisance to American air carriers. You’re something to be disdained because you chose the least expensive option for your flight. You are something to be abused, if they feel it’s necessary, because FUCK YOU! That’s why. You paid less, so you must be some poor trash that can be treated as such. You’re cattle to be treated as something less than human, even though you may have paid thousands of dollars for a seat in their overcrowded, smelly, many times filthy tin can.

But until passengers refuse to travel by air en masse, this kind of treatment will continue, because the airlines are happy to know you have few other options.

And hell, even if we boycott air travel, I’m sure they’ll just whine about how they’re critical to national security and get more taxpayer dollars anyway.

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29 responses

  1. I will not fly any more – because of crap like this, and the nuisance and humiliations involved in TSA’s “security theater” . I will drive, or take the train, or stay the hell home.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Delta is trying to catch up to United, it sounds. This happened to a friend of my wife’s.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-kicked-delta-flight-bathroom-plane-waited-article-1.3106952

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I saw that and was like, “WTF?”

      Like

      1. Obviously, from the instant response of the airport, the toilets dump directly on the pavement under the aircraft. No holding tank(s). Shades of the first passenger aircraft. I had thought they were at least as up to date as a travel trailer or motorhome. Guess not.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep.

        Like I said, the guy is a friend of the wife’s from high school.

        Like

  3. “Legal Requests of a flight crew” only works after you’ve left the terminal and before you have arrived at the next terminal. This was not the case here, as the doors had not been closed and the flight had not left the terminal. They have no legal standing for that.

    The threat of jail only works if they can claim trespassing, which, since they seated him and his family, is nebulous at best.

    He’s gonna get a BUNCH of compensation for this. Damages plus about 100%, to start.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can only hope you’re right. About the only thing anyone can do is hit them in the wallet and publicize this widely.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Lucky Pierre | Reply

    Avoid the fuss.take the bus….Fly Greyhound.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Problem with Greyhound is you get random TSA bullshit at random terminals when boarding random busses- so they claim.
      I rode Greyhound from the Florida gulf coast north of Tampa-St. Pete to Cleveland,Ohio a couple years back.
      TSA goons searched every passenger and every bag in Tallahassee terminal.
      I was riding the dog home from visiting my mom as she lay in a hospital bed dying of cancer because I was sick of both TSA and airlines bullshit- and was still subjected to TSA bullshit.
      That was on 2014- so I’m sure the TSA is subjecting even more people to their bullshit at bus and train stations.
      I’m sure random interstate highway unavoidable TSA checkpoints are coming soon.

      Like

      1. I’ve been predicting that for years. If they claim it’s “for the fruits” the Supremes have already ruled checkpoints and inspections are perfectly OK.

        I imagine some bureaucrat has already designed a Soviet-style internal passport system. Think of the good! A barrier to terrorist travel, helping prevent kidnapping children across state lines, preventing untaxed interstate commerce – there are no downsides. Well, no downsides that aren’t bleated by Constitutionalst Libertarian nutters who value their personal freedoms and rights over the security of the State…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As far as I know TSA is still doing the bus and train station searches-I haven’t traveled anywhere I didn’t go by car since that TSA nonsense in Tallahassee my last Greyhound trip.

          Like

  5. re: hitting them in the wallet. Actually no. In the distant past, the air travel industry was treated like a regulated public utility. Rates were fixed (there were almost never sweet deals), routes were negotiated, slots into airports were not over-committed, profits were regulated, flights were rarely cancelled-never for an empty plane, over-booking almost never occurred, people were polite, and cabin crews were great. We have choices. If you don’t like regulated carriers with all that implies, perhaps we should use the power of the internet. Next Monday is “Delta Sucks Day” and everybody cancels. the problem is: airlines are better organized that we are – I know you find that hard to believe but try getting “Delta Sucks Day” going then get back to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have the same attitude as Celia- I will NOT fly again with crap like this happening on a daily basis. Besides my immune system cannot stand the “improved” air f-ng system. My last few flights I got sick every time I flew.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I drive everywhere I go. I’ve come to enjoy seeing the country as I drive through it AND I contribute to the economy of these different states and counties and cities and towns that I drive through. I drive the 17 hours (sometimes straight through) to Florida from St. Louis and it is a wonderful pleasure and I don’t have to deal with the shitty cocksuckers and obnoxious cunts that make up commercial flight staff these days. Honestly it takes more time, yes, but it is SO MUCH more of a rewarding experience driving.
    No obnoxious flight crew sitting just waiting for the chance to be dicks and cunts and flex their muscles of pissant authority and chuck me off a flight because they can. No fat slovenly unwashed shiteaters refusing to buy two seats to fit their gigantic floppashit sagging hippo of a wife and their own disgustingly obese frame and then spilling like a truck full of medical waste into my seat. No obnoxiously loud fuckwit refusing to wear headphones and subjecting the rest of the passengers to the ear-damaging, puke-inducing, buttfuck festival of lyrical shitvomit that is their chosen music. Screw you, commercial airlines and your crew of fuckwits.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t hold back. Tell us what you really think – 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Wow LOL. Sounds like you’ve had some bad experiences. My airline experiences have been OK so far, but the one time I took the Amtrak Train left much to be desired.

      I was in the dining hall and the waitress/patrons at the next table over were having an argument; she was condescending and basically called them stupid.

      I fell asleep in my chair, and my foot happened to be dangling partway out into the aisle. I woke up suddenly because an Amtrak employee had been walking by and, apparently disgusted, picked up my foot and threw it back in front of my seat (my husband told me about this). And yes, this incident could have probably been construed as assault, had I been awake/coherent enough to realize and report it.

      On the plus side, the price was reasonable and the views while traveling were great.

      Like

  8. My tolerance for commercial aviation BS flatlined in 1986. I won’t even go into a terminal now, much less pay them to be abused.

    Nowadays, it sounds like the airlines are trying to outperform the TSA with regard to service and efficiency…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. My daughter and my mother are travelling to the UK this summer, and are flying out of Chicago. Since we are in St. Louis, I figured that it would be a simple matter to find a commuter flight from Lambert to O’Hare. Instead what I found was over four hundred dollars per person, each way–nearly a thousand dollars to get the two of them to Chicago and back. That is well more than half of what their round trip tickets to Edinburgh cost. That’s insane. So I’ll be driving up and dropping them off, then going to pick them up a week later.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m waiting for the claim that since intially the ticket was purchased for an 18 year old, obviously the younger brother is travelling on an assumed name and there for a terrorist.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, they did say the ticket is non-transferable, so giving it to the baby is grounds for taking the seat away.

      Like

  11. Wow. The way things were going you’d like it was a Spirit Airlines flight or something. I’ve luckily never had issues when I was air traveling, but as these stories show bad and unfair stuff does happen. Delta should absolutely comp this family for their inconvenience; I’m not saying people should be able to cause disruptions on flights but passengers are paying customers and have rights too.

    “But until passengers refuse to travel by air en masse, this kind of treatment will continue, because the airlines are happy to know you have few other options.”

    Either that or unless a successful lawsuit/bad PR leading to decreased profits combination occurs. Which should really happen, because it would force them to take notice and improve their customer service model.

    Like

    1. If I were one of the parents, I wouldn’t accept comp… Cash baby.

      Like

  12. There’s probably some PR guy at Delta flipping his desk right now.

    Like

    1. Or flipping his shit. LOL

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just had this funny mental image of a chimp in a suit working in an office freaking out and flinging poo and flipping his desk.

        I needed that so much in my life lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re welcome!

          Poo

          Liked by 1 person

  13. […] at least Delta didn’t double down on the stupid after their flight attendant was recorded telling a passenger that unless he gave up the seat he had already paid for, and which his baby son occupied in […]

    Like

  14. Sorry, but all this fuss is complete BS. The airline was right.

    This guy was a complete idiot. We all know that tickets are not transferable – only to be used by the named passenger. You might think that wrong – but refundable or transferable tickets would be more expensive, and we do like cheap flights. If there was a demand for transferable tickets at a higher price they would be offered (as more pricey tickets that can be refunded or have the date changes often are).

    In any case they did not check the child in to that seat, so that seat was not his!

    Since the person on the ticket did not check in, of course the airline would treat him as any other “no show” and use the vacated seat. What did the fool think they would do?

    Of course if any of us have ever missed a flight (like, say, due to being drunk on a Raytheon avionic engineer’s expense account the night before, after he’d been stuck in Portugal with no other English-speakers for a week) we really appreciate the airline giving us the seat someone else did not show up for, for (in my case – thanks TAP Air Portugal) zero fee.

    “Unlike United, Delta did have a clause in their Contract of Carriage that specifically states transport can be refused “when the passenger …fails to obey the instruction of any member of the flight crew.””

    Errrrmmmm … not needed. The kid was in someone else’s seat. The normal conditions of carriage would cover this for any airline. United was in the wrong, that was their problem.

    Like

    1. This guy was a complete idiot. We all know that tickets are not transferable – only to be used by the named passenger. You might think that wrong – but refundable or transferable tickets would be more expensive, and we do like cheap flights. If there was a demand for transferable tickets at a higher price they would be offered (as more pricey tickets that can be refunded or have the date changes often are).

      He cleared it with the gate agent and was told he was good to go.

      In any case they did not check the child in to that seat, so that seat was not his!

      He paid for it, so they had no good reason to boot him.

      Since the person on the ticket did not check in, of course the airline would treat him as any other “no show” and use the vacated seat. What did the fool think they would do?

      Again, he paid for the seat and cleared it with personnel at the gate. The LEAST they could have done is offered him his money back.

      Errrrmmmm … not needed. The kid was in someone else’s seat. The normal conditions of carriage would cover this for any airline.

      No, the kid was in a seat paid for by his parents, and cleared to use by the personnel at the gate. Since he was allowed to board and was not in violation of the carrier contract in any way, they had no authorization to boot him.

      But all that is beside the point. Let’s assume that the gate personnel hadn’t cleared them to use the seat, and that the seat was non-transferable. Let’s assume the airline was within its right to ask him to vacate that seat.

      After initially asking and getting an argument back, the flight attendant proceeded to LIE several times.

      Then she THREATENED the family with fucking jail.

      Then, when the family acquiesced, she booted all of them off the plane anyway.

      So, no. Wrong answer. This is shitty customer service all around, and Delta acknowledged it.

      Like

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