(National Sentinel) Self-Important: Texas Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee managed to get a white female passenger who paid for a first-class ticket aboard a United Airlines flight bumped back to Economy Plus so she could take her seat.
Worse, The New York Post reported, she then took to social media to accuse the woman of racism.
“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,” the Texas Democrat wrote in a post. “This saddens me, 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,” Jackson Lee continued. “But as an African American, I know there are too many examples like this all over the nation.”
But Jean-Marie Simon, 63, wrote in a Facebook post that’s not at all what happened. The Washington, D.C.-area teacher said she purchased Seat 1A in first class weeks ago and that United officials purposely erased her from the system so they could reassign her seat to Jackson-Lee.
The second agent asked the other agent if I was late coming in from another flight or another airline. The first agent told him no, that I had been on United, that my first segment had arrived three hours earlier, and that I had been at the gate. Then the second agent told me that perhaps I had cancelled my own reservation. I said that was impossible: I had a boarding ticket in hand and I just wanted to get home. Then he told me that “united.com has changed your reservation” and there was nothing United could do about it.
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. He said no, because I had “unreserved” my seat and it had been given to another passenger, that s/he had been “upgraded.” He said I could “stand here and argue” and miss the flight or book another flight with another airline, meaning that I would lose my first class ticket and pay for a second one.
“I asked for nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary and received nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary. I proceeded to take my seat and work on legislative issues on my way to Washington,” Jackson-Lee posted.
Simon later learned not only that the Texas Democrat had gotten her seat, but that she does that sort of thing regularly.
“A Texas congressman, a nice guy, sat down next to me. He said was glad I had made it on the flight. I showed him my boarding pass with my seat, 1A, printed on it,” she wrote on Facebook.
“He said, ‘You know what happened, right? Do you know who’s in your seat?’ I said no. He told me that it was Jackson Lee, a fellow U.S. congresswoman who regularly does this, that this was the third time he personally had watched her bump a passenger,” she continued in her post.
“Then he asked me if I knew whom Jackson Lee represents in Congress: Bush International Airport in Houston. He apologized, saying, ‘Jackson Lee gives us all a bad name; it’s shameful.'”
Simon told the Post that United had not apologized over the incident, as officials from the airline had said.
“United has not apologized to me,” Simon told The Post in an email Tuesday. “A low ranking employee responding to an online customer complaint apologized on the phone, in his individual capacity. He also said he would send my complaint up the chain at United. To date, I have not heard from United.”
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