LOS ANGELES (CBS4) – A family is demanding an apology after they were threatened to be arrested on an overbooked Delta Air Lines flight.
Cellphone video captured the moment the Schear family was asked to deplane before their flight left Maui for Los Angeles, with at least one police officer standing in the aisle over them.
“This is going to be a federal offense, and you and your wife will be in jail,” someone tells Brian Schear off camera.
The problem arose when the parents bought their teenage son a ticket on an earlier flight home so they could have extra room for their other children, ages 1 and 2, so they could sleep on the flight back. The flight was overbooked, though, and Delta wanted to use the now-vacant seat for another passenger.
“Well, you should have thought of that before you oversold the flight,” Brian Schear is heard saying on tape. “I paid for that seat.”
According to an employee speaking off camera, it’s not allowed for another one of the children to use the open seat because it’s under the name of the family’s son Mason.
“Mason is not here so Mason cannot be someone who owns the seat,” she says.
Schear explains their desire to allow their child to sleep in the car seat in the open spot before the employee leaves. Another employee who introduces herself as Jenna arrives and tells the family that it’s not allowed to have a child in a car seat in an open seat on the plane.
“Basically what it comes down to is the FAA because he’s two and under,” Jenna says.
Schear attempts to offer a compromise since he paid for the seat, but the employee refuses and says the flight will sit there all night and to the morning until the family leaves.
Moments after that, the family is told they must deplane or they will be arrested.
“So what are we supposed to do?” Schear asks. “I’ve got two infants, nowhere to stay, there’s no more flights. What am I supposed to do? Sleep in the airport?”
“At this point you guys are on your own,” another employee tells him.
With officers standing in the aisle, the Schear family complied and got off the flight when “it was midnight in Maui and we had to get a hotel and purchase new tickets the following day.”
They received no refund for the extra expenses, including the additional tickets, according to CBS LA.
“We are sorry for what this family experienced. Our team has reached out, and we will be talking with them to better understand what happened and come to a resolution,” the airline said in a statement.
Schear says “the bottom line is, they oversold the flight.”