Family kicked off Delta flight after being told by staff to give up 2-year-old son's seat


A Southern California family claims they were kicked off of an overbooked flight because they refused to give up a seat they purchased for their 2-year-old son.

Brian Schear, a resident of Huntington Beach, uploaded an eight-minute video of the April 23 incident to YouTube on Wednesday, saying he was on a Los Angeles-bound flight departing from Maui with his wife and two small children when he was asked by officials to yield a seat held by his older son.

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In the video, Schear is told by airline staff that if he does give up his son's seat he will be kicked off of the flight.

When he and his wife refused and argued with staff, Schear is told that being removed from the plane would count as a federal offense and "you and your wife will be in jail."

Schear explains that he purchased an extra seat for his 18-year-old son but opted to send his eldest son home on an earlier flight so he would have more room to fit his 2-year-old son's car seat so as to not disturb other passengers while he slept.

An employee then told Schear that a car seat was not permitted on the plane and cited regulations to argue that a 2-year-old was actually required to sit on the parents' laps while on a flight.

"With him being two he cannot sit in a car seat," the employee says.

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Delta's website, however, appears to encourage parents purchase an extra seat for children on the plane.

"We want you and your children to have the safest, most comfortable flight possible, for kids under the age of two, we recommend you purchase a seat on the aircraft and use an approved child safety seat," Delta's website states.

After the parents agreed to hold the 2-year-old throughout the duration of the flight, the airline staff told them to leave the plane.

"From this point on this plane will not go anywhere until you guys choose to go ... I'm just trying to help you," an employee told Schear.

"Trying to help us would have been not overselling the flight and not trying to force us to get him out of that seat that I paid for," Schear says towards the end of the clip.

Delta issued the following statement Thursday:

"We're sorry for what this family experienced. Our team has reached out and will be talking with them to better understand what happened and come to a resolution. I can confirm that this was not because the flight was overbooked," Delta Spokeswoman Betsy Talton said.