Delta Overbooks Red Eye Flight, Kicks Family With Two Toddlers Off

Right, let’s start with the facts.

This California family have three kids, an 18 year old son who is named Mason, and two toddlers. They were set to go on vacation to Hawaii and had purchased four tickets to fly to their destination and back, intending for their 1 year old son to sit on their lap. However, they found the flight to Hawaii difficult with the toddler on their lap, so dad decided to buy Mason an earlier flight ticket home, and to use the four red eye flight tickets for each of the remaining family members, putting a car seat in each chair for the two small kids to sleep in. No-one would have the toddler on their lap this time. Sounds pretty easy.

The father did not change the name on the ticket to his youngest son’s name- it was still under Mason. Now we don’t know what happened at check-in: did they inform the flight staff that Mason would not be flying but that they would still use the seat?

So, it’s late at night, and the family just wants to get through this 5 hour flight in peace like all families do. Of course, Delta have overbooked the flight and demand that the parents put the youngest child on their lap and let another passenger sit there (and where was the car seat going to go, Delta?). The new passenger is waiting.

The father uploaded an eight minute video, which you can view here:

He was told repeatedly that it was a federal offense not to give up the seat, and that “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.” Great customer service Delta! Jail for not giving up a flight you paid for.

He pleads with them saying the child needs to sleep in the car seat, to no avail.

Then the Delta rep lies, and says it’s FAA regulation that the child is too young and can’t be in a car seat. Hi Delta! Your website states the exact opposite: “For kids under the age of two, we recommend you purchase a seat on the aircraft and use an approved child safety seat.”

And let’s stick with the facts: he paid for four tickets. So Delta are demanding he give this seat to a stranger, but won’t allow him to give it to his own child? And by “give”, I mean he paid for this seat!

The Delta reps are horrific and need training immediately. Threatening jail time, and things like “We’ll sit here all night if thats what you want.” Then the contradictory “I’m here to help you.” Really? Then just let them fly home!

Finally, at 5:47, after all the back and forth in the video, you can hear the dad ask if they can just hold the baby for the flight. The response then comes that either the whole family needs to leave, or the flight will be detained.

“So we’re getting kicked off this flight no matter what?”

“Yes.”

The family is forced to leave the flight, unload two kids, two car seats, wait for their bags, go to a hotel, pay for a hotel and purchase new flight tickets.

No Delta. No. You were in the wrong again. Shame on you.

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Ladan Rashidi, Managing Editor. Ladan is a British mother of three, who moved to California in 2008 to live with her husband. Born and raised in London, she has the very British sarcastic sense of humor. None of her previous workplaces prepared her for becoming a mother and having the three most demanding bosses in the world, but also the cutest.

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