A confusion led a passenger to claim that her seat was given away to a Congresswoman, the Congresswoman responded by saying that the accusation is based on nothing except racism. On a United Airline Flight that was heading to Washington D.C. from Houston, a mix-up caused severe misunderstanding, claims and accusations.
The passenger – Jean-Marie Simon faced a mix-up resultant of a confusion with the Congresswoman Representative, Sheila Jackson Lee.
Both, the passenger and Congresswoman, wanted to take a flight from Houston to Washington D.C. on 18th December. As Jackson Lee’s seat was upgraded to first class, which the Airline said was not because of her Congresswoman status.
As Simon wanted to be on the same flight, she was told that the reservation was cancelled and the airline went on to offer Simon an Economy plus seat.
Simon claimed that her seat was given to the Congresswoman, but the airline went on to insist that Simon had cancelled her reservations before the incident and the flight. Simon went on to deny the statement issued by the Airline regarding the incident.
“…we found that upon receiving notification that Flight 788 was delayed due to weather, the customer appears to have canceled her flight from Houston to Washington, D.C. within the United mobile app,” the airline had said in a statement.
The United statement further read that Jackson Lee was upgraded to first class as part of their “normal pre-boarding process,” and that Jackson Lee was, in reality, the “first customer on the waitlist for an upgrade.”
Following the incident, Jackson also released her statement to clear her from any claims of wrongdoings and said that “Although I was not involved, I observed a disruption by an individual walking back and forth in the cabin. I could overhear her speaking with a flight attendant (an African American woman). I saw the gate agent go to the seat of the individual who was walking back and forth before we took off. I later came to understand that the individual had canceled her own flight. However I had nothing to do with that. I noted that this individual came toward me and took a picture. I heard later that she might have said ‘I know who she is.’ 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.”
Even though the airline still claims that the woman had cancelled her flight before the flight, they still went on to offer her an apology along with a $500 voucher for all her troubles.
However, Simon says that she was only offered a $300 voucher on the day of her flight, and was given $500 after she had insisted. Furthermore, no apology was received by her, according to Simon.
In an interview, she said, “United has not apologized to me. A low-ranking employee responding to an online customer complaint apologized on the phone, in his individual capacity. He also said he would send my complaint up the chain at United. To date, I have not heard from United.”