United Apologizes to Passenger Who Says Seat Was Given to Congresswoman
United Airlines found itself in hot water once again over the holidays when a story emerged about a passenger who claimed that her first-class seat was given away to Houston congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. The incident occurred on December 18 and a week later, United said that the passenger, Jean-Marie Simon, had cancelled her ticket after a weather delay, a claim that Simon denies.
Ms. Simon said that the airline denied her request for a $500 travel voucher and a free meal. Instead, United offered her a $300 voucher and an economy-plus seat for her flight home to Washington, DC — while Congresswoman Jackson Lee was sitting in her original seat, 1A. According to NBC News, the airline has since apologized to Ms. Simon and has offered her the $500 voucher that she'd originally asked for.
As for Rep. Lee, the congresswoman said in a statement that she didn't ask for anything "exceptional or out of the ordinary."