WASHINGTON - A D.C. private school teacher says she was booted off of a Dec. 18 United flight and her first-class seat was given away to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). The Congresswoman has since suggested the passenger's issue had to do with race.
Jean-Marie Simon posted a photo of Jackson Lee in a seat she claims she booked and was bumped from without her consent or knowledge. Her post was retweeted more than 17,000 times and liked more than 22,000 times, causing controversy and debate over the holiday weekend.
United said Simon canceled the flight, but the passenger contests that. Simon said she is still waiting for an apology from the airline even though the United has refunded the miles she used to book the ticket home.
Rep. Jackson Lee took to social media to weigh in with her reaction to the incident. In over a dozen tweets as well as a post on Facebook, she shared her statement about the incident and Simon’s claims.
FOX 5 spoke with Simon about the allegations of racism suggested by Jackson Lee.
“I'm not going to address that because it could have been Mickey Mouse or Santa Claus in my seat and I would have felt the same way,” Simon said. “This is not about race for me. This is about United. I don't want an apology from Jackson Lee. I want an apology from United."
FOX 5 reached out to United and the airline said Simon canceled her flight using the United mobile app. They noted they were able to provide her with a seat on the same flight in Economy Plus.
United said in a statement: