Customer service on commercial airlines is again under attack this week.
The airline industry's customer service techniques suffered another blow on Thursday after a video went viral of a family being asked to give up their seat ended in threats of incarceration and child displacement.
A Delta Airlines red eye flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles was the scene as a woman from the flight crew asked Brian Schear of Huntington Beach to relinquish a seat he paid for so another passenger could use it.
But Schear verbally refused saying he had bought the seat for his 18-year-old son who had taken an earlier flight the previous day and was now using it for his two-year-old toddler.
“I bought the seat and you need to just leave us alone,” Schear says in the cellphone video. “I’m not trying to cause a problem, but I believe in standing up for what’s right.”
In the video a woman off-camera says that Schear had better give up the seat or be arrested and his kids taken away.
“You have to give up the seat or you’re going to jail, your wife is going to jail and they’ll take your kids from you,” Schear said the employee told him.
The ultimatum got even more threatening as a woman in the video says, “Which option do you want to take? Do you want to get off on your own, or...?”
Delta has since apologized to the couple and released the following statement.
“We are sorry for the unfortunate experience our customers had with Delta,” the statement reads. “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.”
Bolstering her determination to take the seat away from Schear, a crewmember who identifies herself as Jenna steps in and says that a two-year-old is not allow to sit in a seat by themselves, something Schear disagrees with using the airlines own policy as reference.
The FAA website confirms Schear’s assertions according to the Huffington Post:
“For kids under the age of two, we recommend you purchase a seat on the aircraft and use an approved child safety seat,” it states.
Schear’s wife posted the video on her social media page saying they were not immediately compensated for the inconvenience and they had to buy more tickets and find overnight accomidations on their own.