Angry Passenger Says United Gave Her First-Class Seat To Dem Congresswoman

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

A woman on a United Airlines flight from Houston to Washington, D.C., accused the airline of giving the seat she paid for to Texas Democratic Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee.

Jean-Marie Simon, 63, who works as an attorney in Washington, D.C., purchased a first class ticket on her trip from Guatemala but was told when boarding her seat had been taken. Simon claims to have purchased the tickets Dec. 3 using frequent flyer miles for her flight on Dec. 20, according to The Houston Chronicle.

United compensated Simon with $500, but in their released statement, the airline company said Simon canceled her flight. In response, the airline booked the first customer on the waitlist, which they say is a part of their normal protocol.

“After thoroughly examining our electronic records, we found that upon receiving a notification that Flight 788 was delayed due to weather, the customer appears to have canceled her flight from Houston to Washington, D.C., within the United mobile app,” United said in a 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.”

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