Was Washington D.C teacher Jean-Marie Simon bumped off her first class seat by United Airlines to make way for U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee?
Jean-Marie Simon a Washington D.C teacher has accused United Airlines of foul play after allegedly being booted from her ‘paid first class seat’ in order to give it to a congresswoman. A claim that the politician and the airliner has both contested.
According to a Facebook post Simon, 63, wrote to say she was at Bush International in Houston on her way home from a trip to Guatemala last week, when she witnessed U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) being ushered onto the plane before everyone else lined up.
When it came time for her to board the Dec. 18 flight, Simon said the gate attendant told her that her ticket was not in the system.
Wrote Simon, ‘A second United agent confirmed that I had no seat, not just the first class seat I had purchased, but no seat, period. I didn’t even have a reservation anymore’.
Asked if she’d cancelled her reservation, Simon contended she hadn’t, and that she just wanted to get home.
Wrote Simon, ‘I said I wanted my seat, that I had paid a lot of miles for that seat, and that it was United’s responsibility to undo the seat assignment and return it to me, the person who had paid for it’.
A United attendant told Simon that her reservation had been changed about an hour earlier and that another passenger had been upgraded to her seat.
Told United in a statement, ‘After thoroughly examining our electronic records, we found that upon receiving a notification that Flight 788 was delayed due to weather, the customer appears to have canceled her flight from Houston to Washington, DC within the United mobile app,’
‘As part of the normal pre-boarding process, gate agents began clearing standby and upgrade customers, including the first customer on the waitlist for an upgrade.’
Simon for her part said she was offered a $500 voucher or told that she could buy a seat on a flight with another airline.
Wrote Simon, ‘United lied to me, repeatedly. They put Jackson Lee on the plane and then tried to blame it… on everybody but the United employee who deliberately erased my seat, my ticket, and my name from the system in order to accommodate a member of Congress who repeatedly bullies his/her way into favored status’.
After being the last person to get on the plane, Simon said another Texas congressman who sat next to her told her that Jackson Lee had swiped her seat and that she ‘regularly does this.’
‘Jackson Lee gives us all a bad name; it’s shameful,’ he reportedly told her.
Jean-Marie Simon accused of racist baiting…..
She decided to walk to the front of the plane and snap a photo of the rep in seat 1A.
Five minutes later, she said a flight attendant came over to ask if she was ‘going to cause any problems,’ and warned her that she’d be escorted off the plane if she did, she wrote.
In a statement, Jackson Lee said she overheard Simon speaking with an African American flight attendant and saw her snap the photo.
Told Jackson Lee via the Houston Chronicle. ‘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,’
‘This saddens me,’ she continued. ‘Especially at this time of year given all of the things we have to work on to help people. But in the spirit of this season and out of the sincerity of my heart, if it is perceived that I had anything to do with this, I am kind enough to simply say sorry.’
Simon said the congresswoman was accusing her of racism when she ‘had no idea who was in my seat when I complained.’
The airline maintains that she canceled her own flight.
Simon said she wants a formal, written apology from United.
‘It’s just impossible to suspend disbelief and swallow that story that I canceled my flight,’ Simon said.
And then there were these responses on the web that made this author wonder, see what you think?
‘I’ve lived in Houston for 30 years and can confirm that this is Sheila Jackson Lee bullying her way into taking that poor woman¿s seat. She is a selfish, entitled, race baiter who exploits her position to the detriment of everyone else. She should be ashamed of herself and apologize but is too self important to ever gain enough perspective to do so.’
‘Jackson Lee cries racizm because a customer complained that she was bumped from a seat she paid for? If I were a minoritee I would be outraged at her flippant claim. It does so much to damage real claims of racizm.’
‘Be careful going after this lady. She’s a congresswoman that can check 2 PC boxes!’
‘Jackson Lee considers herself to be part of the ruling class, and therefore the little people must give her whatever she wants. A horrifying example of what DC has become…..’
‘If she had canceled her flight then why was she still allowed on the plane albeit in economy-class rather than first-class? United’s explanation doesn’t make much sense.’