The Inertia

Delta Airlines scrambled to issue a public apology Friday after a video of a California family being kicked off a flight from Maui to LAX went viral.

“Here is a video of Delta airlines booting myself, my wife and my 2 children ages 1 and 2 off Delta flight 2222 April 23 from Maui to LAX,” said Brian Schear in the description of the video he posted to Youtube on Wednesday. “They oversold the flight and asked us to give up a seat we purchased for my older son that my younger son was sitting in. You will hear them lie to me numerous times to get my son out of the seat. The end result was we were all kicked off the flight. They then filled our 4 seats with 4 customers that had tickets but no seats. They oversold the flight. When will this all stop? It was midnight in Maui and we had to get a hotel and purchase new tickets the following day.”

The 8-minute video was viewed nearly 4 million times in the two days since it was posted. Delta has since apologized with 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.”

The incident occurred when the family sought to put their two-year-old son in a seat they’d purchased for their 18-year-old son. The airline, however, wanted to put another paying customer in that seat.

“I believe in standing up for what’s right, and I paid for the seat,” says Schear in the video.

Later, the crew member tells Schear that remaining in his seat is a federal offense, and that if he remains he’ll end up in jail and his child in foster care.

Whether incidents like these are occurring at an increasing rate, or are just becoming more well-documented is unclear. But apparently, even in the Aloha State you can be forcibly removed from an overbooked flight. Add that to gripes about board bag fees, and the chance of your boards being completely destroyed, and there’s more things to hate than love about surf travel.


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