Sheila Jackson Lee bullied her way into another passenger’s seat and played the race card as her defense, claiming somehow that the woman booted is a racist and that is why she
Jean-Marie Simon, a 63-year-old attorney and private school teacher, used 140,000 miles on Dec. 3 to purchase roundtrip first-class tickets from Washington D.C. to Guatemala and back home. The connection on the return segment went through Houston, home of Rep Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).
The flight home didn’t go as planned for Simon. She was told at the gate that she had cancelled her own reservation, but that United Airlines would accommodate her in coach, giving her a $500 travel credit. Simon objected and complained but was basically powerless to do anything about it and accepted the new seat assignment. Once she was on the plane, Simon discovered the identity of the individual in her seat as Sheila Jackson Lee.
When Simon challenged the flight attendants on being bumped in favor of the Congresswoman, she was told to shut up and take her new seat or she’d be tossed from the flight altogether. Simon was able to snap a picture as evidence of her claims. Despite the photographic evidence to the contrary, United Airlines denies giving Simon’s pre-reserved seat to Jackson Lee.
They issued a statement, saying, “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 wait-list for an upgrade.”
There are conflicting reports on the reason for the delay. The passengers were told at the time that it was due to a mechanical problem but the letter from United references a weather delay. Why would someone cancel a flight due to weather to switch to another carrier facing the same weather conditions? Maybe the delay was a matter of waiting for a last-minute arriving passenger, the Congresswoman who would then bully her way into someone else’s seat.
The airline knows there is no paper trail with their app and can claim anyone cancelled a reservation at any time with no way for the individual to prove otherwise. Simon denies cancelling her ticket although the airline had encouraged passengers at the time to explore alternative flights as they dealt with a “mechanical problem.”
Jackson Lee issued the typical Democrat cryptic word-parsing denial, in a Saturday statement, saying, “I asked for nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary and received nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary.”
Bumping members of the peasant class from their seats is not exceptional or out of the ordinary, it’s one of the perks of being a Congressional Democrat, so she is probably being somewhat truthful in her statement, though deceptive.
Simon said that she did notice Jackson Lee, who was dressed up like an African queen, boarding the plane with the assistance of a black flight attendant.
Jackson Lee overheard the discussions when Simon confronted a flight attendant about what they had done. She issued a statement in response, in her typical racist manner, saying, “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.”
She lectured from her position on the false moral high ground, saying, “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.”
That’s easy for her to say now, why didn’t she say it while the flight was still on the ground and relocate her over-sized rear end into one of those tiny coach seats? After the fact, as it is now, it’s clear she’s only doing damage control. The statement was probably written by someone else.
Simon, for her part, denied any racism, noting that she had no way of knowing the race, sex, age or any other factor of the person who took her seat until she was on the plane herself. It’s just Jackson Lee once again taking refuge in the brown Teflon that is racist accusations.
Simon said, “I had no idea who was in my seat when I complained at the gate that my seat had been given to someone else,” she said. “There is no way you can see who is in a seat from inside the terminal.”
United let Simon know that if she didn’t sit down and act like a “good girl” that she’d be forced off of the flight when another flight attendant sat down next to her about five minutes after she snapped the photo, asking her if she “was going to be a problem.”
Now that she’s back home and no longer at the mercy of Jackson Lee’s thugs at United, she is going to be a problem – one of their own creation.
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