We’ve got an update on our story about United Airlines basically taking a first class seat from a woman and giving it to U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat.
The airline company has issued an apology to the woman, Jean-Marie Simon, and also gave her a $500 travel voucher.
On Monday, an airline spokeswoman said that United’s internal systems show that Simon, canceled her Dec. 18 seat from Houston to Washington, D.C. after a weather delay.
Simon’s response: that’s not the case … she never canceled her flight. She says before she knew it, she was in the economy section. She told the Houston Chronicle that she saw Jackson Lee sitting in the seat that was assigned to her.
Meanwhile, United says it upgraded Jackson Lee automatically and not because she was a member of Congress. The Congresswoman says in a statement that she didn’t ask for anything “exceptional or out of the ordinary.”
On Twitter, Simon, a lawyer and private-school teacher, claimed that a “gate agent wanted originally to give me $300,” but she said no to it.
“I’ve seen people get twice that for voluntarily giving up a seat on overbooked flights,” Simon tweeted Sunday. “When I asked for free meal/bev., gate agent said, ‘And I want a Mercedes Benz, but I’m not going to get it.’ ”
Simon added that she was only able to get her voucher and apology by “insisting.”
“United threatened to remove me from plane for taking photo,” she also tweeted. “United manager called me @ home: said United behavior at gate/on plane contra [sic] United training. Said taking photos is legal, andaid [sic] United will investigate to c who did this to me.”