United Airlines Apologizes, Offers Travel Voucher To Woman Who Complained That A Congresswoman Was Given Her First Class Seat

A 63 year old D.C. teacher was upset last week after she said United Airlines bumped her from her seat, then gave her accommodations to a Texas congresswoman.

The airline has since given Jean-Marie Simon, 63, an apology and a $500 voucher.

Simon said she booked a flight from Houston to Washington, D.C. but was told her flight had been canceled due to inclement weather.

Moments later, she saw a Black congresswoman, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), sitting in what was supposed to be Simon’s seat.

So Simon decided to snap pictures of Jackson-Lee in her seat. She then complained that Jackson-Lee was receiving “preferential treatment”.

Simon also posted a photo of the congresswoman sitting in her airplane seat, bothering no one, on Facebook.

Simon claimed that race did not play a factor in her complaints: Jackson-Lee, once again, is Black; Simon is White.

United said Simon canceled her flight via a mobile app, something Simon denies.


For her part, Rep. Jackson-Lee, 67, seemed unbothered by the unexpected and intrusive photo session, and publicity over an incident she seems to have had no control over.

Jackson-Lee denied she sought any special treatment, and went on to say she never “asked for nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary.”


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