The school teacher whose first class seat on a United Airlines flight was given to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is firing back at the Democrat congresswoman’s cries of racism.
Jean-Marie Simon did not know who had boarded the flight from Houston to Washington, D.C. and said she did not even know who Jackson Lee was when she was informed by the airline when boarding that she had lost her seat. Making matters worse were United’s explanation that she had cancelled her ticket and Jackson Lee’s ridiculous claim that the attorney and private school teacher overreacted because the Texas lawmaker is an African-American woman.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 25, 2017
“That could have been Donald Duck in my seat,” Simon, a Democrat, told Fox News on Thursday. “I could not see who had boarded the flight. I didn’t even know who she was.”
Simon used 140,000 frequent flyer miles to purchase the first-class ticket from Washington, D.C., to Guatemala and back. The final leg of the journey found her at the gate arguing over her lost seat as United offered her a $500 voucher and an economy seat.
She posted about the incident on Facebook, noting that another Texas congressman pointed out who was in her seat, and that she “regularly does this” to passengers. Once on board, the tension continued as a flight attendant allegedly threatened to remove Simon from the flight after she took a photo of Jackson Lee sitting in the seat that should have been hers.
Jackson Lee made matters worse by playing the race card in response.
“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 with the African-American flight attendant who was very, very nice,” she wrote.
“The only way she is relevant is that she has a documented history of demanding first-class service,” Simon told Fox News of the Texas Democrat who has been named the “meanest” member of Congress.
“The Congresswoman regrets any inconvenience that her travel may have caused to any passenger, however the issue in question involves the passenger and United Airlines,” Jackson Lee spokesman Rucks Russell said in a statement.
Simon, who is a registered Democrat, is mostly angry with United’s handling of the situation, and how they have treated her.
United stated they“found that upon receiving a notification that Flight 788 was delayed due to weather, the customer canceled her flight from Houston to Washington, D.C. within the United mobile app,” something Simon denies.
“I’m not some AARP grandmother who doesn’t know how to use a phone,” she said. “I know how to cancel a flight and I did not cancel this flight.”
United continued in the statement: “As part of the normal pre-boarding process, gate agents began clearing standby and upgrade customers, including the first customer on the waitlist for an upgrade. We were able to provide this customer a seat on the same flight in economy plus.”
Simon rejects the explanation and said she is still looking for a proper apology from the airline which credited her 140,000 miles.
“Why would I ever cancel the second segment?” the 63-year-old passenger said Thursday. “United furnished no proof that I canceled it. And why didn’t I reserve another fight?”
United has NOT apologized. A low level employee at a call center said he was sorry on the phone. The voucher I received was United’s idea of compensation for having cancelled my flight and given it to Ms. Jackson Lee. Please correct your story.
— Jean-Marie Simon (@JeanMarieSimon1) December 26, 2017
After a week, United has not furnished proof I canceled 12/18 flight. United returned my miles, but no notice from United; NBC/Houston told me yesterday. UPS delivered my letter to United legal and customer service demanding apology. No response. @United @AP @HoustonChron
— Jean-Marie Simon (@JeanMarieSimon1) December 27, 2017
United maintained in a statement to Fox News that the ticket was canceled using the app, and not by a gate agent or other third party.
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