A United passenger who claims her first class seat was given to Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has taken the matter further after receiving no response from the airline over her formal complaint.
Jean-Marie Simon, 63, has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to conduct an investigation into the congresswoman regarding Simon’s treatment on a flight from Houston to Washington D.C., according to a Tweet on Jan. 7.
Since United didn't respond to my letters re treatment on flight #788, I've filed complaint with Office of Congressional Ethics. No case number, + according to OCE rules it cannot even disclose whether it will consider case, but I think it's important to keep this going forward. pic.twitter.com/eiqu9S8YJx
— Jean-Marie Simon (@JeanMarieSimon1) January 7, 2018
Simon, an attorney and private school teacher, first detailed her grievance in a Facebook post on Dec. 20 where she claimed United gave preferential treatment to Jackson Lee by giving the Texas congresswoman her first class seat while she was bumped back to Economy Plus.
She further claimed the airline threatened to throw her off the plane for making her objections known and for taking a photo of Jackson Lee sitting in her first-class seat.
In response to Simon’s online complaint, Jackson Lee issued a statement on Dec. 22 suggesting that the complaint was due to racism.
Also in response, United Airlines said in a statement that Simon had canceled her own flight on the United mobile app, which she vehemently denies. The airline later told media outlets that it had apologized to Simon over the incident, however, the 63-year-old said they had only provided her with a $500 voucher on the day of the incident and asked a “low-level employee at a call center” to say sorry on the phone. The airline has not formally apologized.
Simon said on Dec. 27 via Twitter that she had posted a letter to the United customer care officer and chief legal counsel demanding a formal apology and that it had been received by the airline, which United had still not responded.
Many people online are showing their support for the Harvard attorney, urging her to take the matter further.
Good job, proud of you.
The arab spring started when a common person had had enough of petty corruption.
Pls let me know if i can help.
— William Cosgrove (@WPCosgrove) January 9, 2018
Way to go!! SO proud of your decision to keep going forward with this. I’m still in shock this happened and where was the media in covering it??! Oh wait…I think I know why. Doesn’t fit their narrative. So sad. Kudos to you!!
— Jackson (@Jackson444888) January 9, 2018
Good job! Don't stop the good fight against these injustices. The fact that @JacksonLeeTX18 called YOU a racist, of all people and STOLE your seat on United is enough to boil any one's blood. We're with you!
— Pat In The West ? (@DesertRiver) January 8, 2018
Yes! People don’t realize that accepting favors is NOT allowed! When I worked for the Fed govt we weren’t able to even accept a pen. I’m sick of these corrupt politicians who think the rules don’t apply to them.
— Sign say closed! ???? (@juenke_lisa) January 8, 2018
I'm so envious of you. You have been given a great opportunity to do a wonderful service for your country. A real Justice Warrior! pic.twitter.com/ihphear3hl
— Tanuki-san (@JimmyMorabito) January 7, 2018
I worked for a city govt. same as any govt. job we could not accept special treatment, not even a free cup of coffee. We would even leave the $ on the table to avoid the appearance of “graft”…the expectation of something in return for that favor. No 1st class on the city dime
— Joy M…Standing for our FLAG (@mundy_joy) January 8, 2018
This is not the first time Jackson Lee has drawn unwanted attention for her conduct on an airplane. Daily Mail’s US Political Editor David Matosko said he saw the congresswoman throw “a hissy fit” two years ago on another flight because a steward checked her carry-on at the gate.
I saw Sheila Jackson-Lee on a domestic flight two years ago. While I was walking back to coach, she was throwing a hissy fit in First Class over why the steward had to gate-check her carry-on. (It was too big to fit in the overhead.) She threw a tantrum worthy of a 3-year-old.
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) December 26, 2017
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