Posted by Curt on 8 January, 2018 at 9:45 am. 4 comments already!


During the Christmas break last month we looked at the rather odd story of an air traveler who was bumped from her first class seat on a United Flight from Texas to Washington by Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. The passenger in question was Jean-Marie Simon, and United claimed that she had mistakenly canceled her own flight using the app on her phone and then reassigned the newly open, first-row seat to Jackson Lee. The congresswoman initially blamed it on racism (of course), which was an odd charge considering that Simon is a human rights activist.

After a non-apology from the airline and an offer of a voucher in exchange for her troubles, Simon was still not satisfied with the treatment she had received. And now, according to her Twitter feed, she’s asked the Congressional Ethics Committee to look into the matter.

As Simon indicates, it’s uncertain if the committee will even take up the question, but it might be worth a look. If Jackson Lee actually did ask to bump someone and cooperated with United to take Simon’s seat, that’s probably not a criminal offense, but it certainly sounds unethical. But even if the version of the story being told by United is true, there are still questions to be raised. Did the Congresswoman originally book a coach flight and then pay for an upgrade or was it a courtesy move on the part of the airline? If the latter, that constitutes a “gift” with significant cash value. And if it was paid for, then the taxpayers shelled out a considerable amount of dough for Jackson Lee to have the best seat on the plane. Was that recorded in her expense report?

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