Well, here we go again, folks! The woman with one of the lowest IQs in Congress strikes yet again and scandal-ridden United Airlines is right smack in the middle!
A passenger on an airline flight scheduled to fly from Houston to Washington D.C. is publicly calling out United accusing the airline of forcing her to give up her first-class seat to U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston). When she complained, the airline threatened to remove her from the plane.Jean-Marie Simon is a 63-year-old attorney and private school teacher. She used 140,000 frequent flyer miles on December 3 to purchase her first-class tickets intended to take her Washington D.C. to Guatemala and back home for Christmas. When it came time to board the last leg of her flight home from George Bush Intercontinental Airport on December 18, after a roughly hour-long weather delay, Simon said the gate attendant scanned her paper ticket and told her it was not in the system.
The attendant then asked her – “Did you cancel your flight?” Simon replied – “No. I just want to go home.”
Apparently, the fact that she pre-purchased seat apparently did not matter. She was told her seat, 1A, was already taken. Simon was then given a $500 voucher and reseated in Economy Plus, row 11. Simon states she later learned that Jackson Lee was the person her pre-purchased seat was given too and accused the congresswoman of receiving preferential treatment. United Airlines denies the accusations of showing preference.
After the flight was delayed, Simon said she saw Jackson Lee board with a flight attendant before the other passengers. She said she did not know who the congresswoman was until another passenger told her. Upon boarding, Simon went to the front of the plane to see who had claimed her pre-purchased seat and snapped a photo of the congresswoman in her reserved seat. She then posted it on social media, stating –
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) in seat 1A the one I paid for dearly and the one United gave to her without my consent or knowledge! Fellow congressman on same flight said she does it repeatedly.Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) in seat 1A the one I paid for dearly, and the one United gave to her without my consent or knowledge! Fellow congressman on same flight said she does it repeatedly.
— Jean-Marie Simon (@JeanMarieSimon1) December 23, 2017
After snapping the picture, Simon went back to her seat. A flight attendant then came and sat down next to her and asked if she “was going to be a problem” on the flight. In response to Simon’s accusation that she was shown preferential treatment, Jackson Lee claims Simon only targeted her “because I was an African-American woman.” Meanwhile, Unites Airlines denies they showed a preference at all.
Here’s the question: Who is paying for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and her colleagues to keep flying back and forth in first class? I guarantee it’s not them. So what secret fund of taxpayer cash pays for members of Congress to drink champagne and eat lobster regularly?
— Theo Aristo Kratos (@KeepItRealist) December 24, 2017
Good question….Actually the Teacher, Jean-Marie Simon had already paid for the First Class Seat. Did @JacksonLeeTX18 just walk on-board the plane to take the already-paid-for SEAT?
— ❤TattedLisaB❤ (@TattedLisaBibby) December 24, 2017
United is claiming Simon’s seat was given up after she canceled her flight through the United Airlines online app. United issued a statement, stating –
“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. 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.”
Simon vehemently denies that she canceled her ticket, stating she has been a United customer for more than a decade and part of their Gold Elite club. She also states the Washington Post refused to report the incident claiming “ambiguity” as to what occurred after she sent the reporter a screenshot of the United website showing only one “inactive” reservation – a flight to Houston in August to visit her daughter that she had to cancel because of Hurricane Harvey. United says the screenshot would not show the December 18 flight as canceled because Simon did eventually end up taking the flight.
Teacher who purchased 1st Class ticket
got bumped out of 1st by UNITED on 2nd part of trip
to give seat to
Congresswoman SHEILA JACKSON LEE
WASHINGTON POST refused to carry story
Sheila Jackson Lee played VICTIM RACE cardhttps:
— David Knight (@libertytarian) December 24, 2017
The teacher said she was so distraught by how the airline treated her that after she arrived home she wrote a letter to the CEO, Oscar Munoz, and posted it on social media, stating it is absurd to claim that someone travelling home for the holidays would suddenly and inexplicably cancel their flight on the second leg of a trip. “It’s just impossible to suspend disbelief and swallow that story that I canceled my flight,” she said. Simon has asked for a formal, written apology.Others on the flight have verified Simon’s story and claim to have witnessed similar behavior from Jackson Lee on previous occasions.
“I’ve seen Lee and IAH cutting in line and rudely taking advantage of her status before. United knows she will play the race card if she isn’t treated like royalty so they just give in. They don’t care about a hard-working teacher vs a privileged idiot,” one person tweeted.
Jackson Lee has issued a statement as of Saturday afternoon about the incident attempting to play the race card, stating –
“I asked for nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary and received nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary. 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 along with the African American flight attendant who was very, very nice.
This saddens me, especially at this time of year given all of the things we have to work on to help people. But in the spirit of this season and out of the sincerity of my heart, if it is perceived that I had anything to do with this, I am kind enough to simply say sorry.”
Simon also denied any suggestions that SHE was a racist in this situation, stating –
“I had no idea who was in my seat when I complained at the gate that my seat had been given to someone else. There is no way you can see who is in a seat from inside the terminal.”
Not your best side Sheila ….btw her name is Jean Marie Simon and she used miles to purchase the seat you STOLE from her. You should be ashamed of yourself. pic.
— Mama333 (@kdlmama) December 24, 2017
However, Jackson Lee’s past history seems to support Simon’s version of events. One person said he had witnessed Lee “cutting in line and rudely taking advantage of her status before.” He claimed that United knows Lee would play the race card if “she isn’t treated like royalty.”
According to the Standard, reports from back in 1995 when Lee first came to Washington D.C. surfaced with claims she was routinely chauffeured to all locations even if the trip was as little as one block in a government car at the taxpayers’ expense.
Imagine if United told a black woman“You gonna be a problem“ in response to her seat being given to white Congressman!!! Never fly @united they stole (admited by CEO sec 2006) our skiis.We visited their warehouse all open no locks.They paid us immediately after our investigation
— HB (@HeidiAlpine) December 24, 2017
United Airlines has experienced a number of public relations nightmares with relation to its customer service or lack thereof. The most notorious of which involved Dr. David Dao in April 2017 where security personnel forcibly dragged Dao off a plane to make room for United crew members on a flight from Chicago to Louisville. Dao refused to give up his seat and was left beaten and bloody as a result. The incident was caught on a cellphone video and posted to social media where United received extensive backlash after it promptly went viral.