A passenger on a flight from Houston to Washington D.C. has accused United Airlines of giving her first-class seat to U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. D-Houston, and then threatening to remove her from the plane for complaining and snapping a photo of the Houston congresswoman.
Simon later learned that Jackson Lee was in her pre-purchased seat and has alleged that the congresswoman received preferential treatment, which United denies.
“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.”
Simon denies that she cancelled her ticket. She sent a 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.