First, it was Muslims. Actually, before them, it was probably a lot more people. But, recently, it was first Muslims who were supposedly discriminated against on a flight to Charlotte. And now it’s a family of five that was forced to deplane before taking off from Charlotte.
A report by WCNC says a Davidson family claims it was kicked off a U.S. Airways flight last Thursday for having too many children. Kathy and Jason Fickes have four children, a 3-year-old, 20-month-old twins and an 8-month-old son but only bought three tickets to Chicago because they were told children under the age of 2 don’t need tickets.
The Fickes made their purchase at the U.S. Airways desk in Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
According to U.S. Airways policy posted on its web site, an infant does not need a ticket for a seat, as it can sit in an adult’s lap. But, in the airline’s defense, there needs to be enough laps for the infants to sit on. And, in the Fickes’ case they were one lap short. The Fickes said no one in security or at the gate said anything to them about needing to purchase another ticket.
A stranger sitting in the row behind the family offered to hold one of their kids during the flight to Chicago, but that would not suffice for the uppity flight attendants.
“We kept on trying to comply,” said Jason Fickes. “I don’t think they ever really gave us a clear reason.”
“I feel like we were discriminated against because we had too many young children, in their eyes,” explained Kathy Fickes. “We already held up the plane 40 or 50 minutes and we didn’t know why because we kept doing what they asked us to do.”
Fickes said they were then asked to leave.
As the family exited the plane, a first class passenger offered to purchase an extra ticket for them, which initially satisfied the crew, but then the family was told the other passenger was not allowed to do that. Kathy Fickes said she didn’t understand why, if they were in violation of rules, the children were all allowed to board without question in the first place.
“From the gates to checking in, nobody said anything. Then on the plane, 40 minutes later, being asked to leave, now not able to fly home for the holidays,” said Fickes.
She claimed a supervisor followed them off the plane to tell them they could return to their seats, but the family declined. The Fickes also said that supervisor told them a refund would be available, but so far, no one from U.S. Airways has returned their messages.