Jean-Marie Simon, left, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.
A woman who is a flight from Houston to Washington, D. C., accused United Airlines of giving her first-class seat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and later threatening to remove her, after she complained and snapped a picture of the anti-Trump card of the congress, although the airline said that it happened because the woman at her booking cancelled on the airline of the app.
Jean-Marie Simon, which used 140,000 miles to purchase first class tickets to take her from Washington, D. C., Guatemala and back to the house, described the experience as “humiliating,” reports the Houston Chronicle.
When it was time to board the last leg of her flight from home of George Bush International Airport on Dec. 18, the gate attendant told Simon that her paper ticket was not in the United system, and asked if she had had her flight cancelled.
“No,” the 63-year-old lawyer replied. “I just want to go home.”
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Simon was told that her seat was taken, and the United gave her a $500 voucher and reseated her in the Economy Plus section in line 11.
Later, Simon learned that Jackson Lee, who has been a vocal supporter of impeaching President Trump, was in the seat she had bought and has alleged that the congress received preferential treatment, which the United denies.
“We were concerned about this issue and took immediate steps to fully understand what happened. After a thorough review of our electronic records, we find that when receiving a notification that the Flight 788 was postponed due to the weather, the customer seems to have cancelled her flight from Houston to Washington, D. C. in the United mobile app,” United said in a statement to Fox News. “As part of the normal pre-boarding process, gate agents started clearing the standby and upgrade customers including the first customer on the waiting list for an upgrade.”
Simon denied that she cancelled her ticket. She did not comment further when contacted by Fox News.
Jackson Lee issued a statement on Saturday afternoon to the Chroncile, saying: “I asked for nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary and receive nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary.” The congress and the office did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Simon shared a screenshot of the United website that showed only a “inactive” (booking) was a flight to Houston in August of that they canceled because of Hurricane Harvey.
A United spokesperson told Fox News, the screenshot is not the December flights cancelled because Simon eventually took the flight. The airline, provided the Review with a screenshot of the internal software and said it showed that the flight was cancelled on the mobile app, but that was not verified by the publication.
The airline said it reached Simon, to explain what happened, to apologize for her experience and will be offering compensation as a gesture of goodwill.”
Simon allegedly saw Jackson Lee aboard the plane a flight attendant for all of the other passengers, but do not immediately recognize her. A short time later, Simon snapped a photo of Jackson Lee and told a flight attendant that she knew why she had pushed.
In her statement, Jackson Lee said she heard Simon speak with an African-American flight attendant and saw her click the photo.
“Since this was not the fault of me, the way in which the individual to continue to occur was found to be, on closer inspection, because I was an Afro-American woman, seemingly an easy target along with the Afro-American flight attendant who was very, very nice,” Jackson Lee said in the statement, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“This saddens me, especially at this time of the year to get all of the things that we need to work to help people. But in the spirit of this season and from the sincerity of my heart, if it is seen that I had something to do with this, I am kind enough to just say: “sorry.”
Simon said Jackson Lee’s statement, accused her of racism, adding: “I had no idea who was in my chair when I complained at the gate that my seat had been given to someone else,” she said. “There is no way you can see who is in a place of in the terminal.”
About five minutes after Simon took the photo on the plane, Simon said, one other flight attendant sat next to her and asked if she “was a problem.”
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On Facebook, Simon wrote that she was sitting next to a Texas congressman that Jackson Lee as in Simon’s chair and told her that this was the third time that he had personally seen how the Houston congressman bump a passenger, adding, “Jackson Lee gives us all a bad name, it is shameful.”
When she came home, Simon wrote a letter to the airline by the CEO and posted on Facebook and Twitter. A “resolution manager” called her the next day and apologized at least a half-dozen times, she told the Chronicle.
However, Simon said she still wants a formal written apology from United.
“It’s just impossible to suspend disbelief and swallow that story that I my flight was cancelled,” Simon said.
This incident is the latest in a series of customer relations blunders this year for United.