Young family kicked off flight and threatened with jail over toddler’s plane seat.

Video via Brian Schear

A family was threatened with jail time and kicked off an oversold flight after they refused to give up a seat they had paid for.

Brian Schear and his family had boarded the Delta flight from Maui, Hawaii, to Los Angeles, California, but were asked to give up a seat their toddler son was sitting in.

A YouTube video of the incident uploaded by the father-of-three shows a staff member explaining that his protests would see him and his family arrested.

Brain Schear was threatened with jail time for refusing to give up a seat. (Image via YouTube.)

"Then that’s going to be a federal offence and you and your wife will be in jail and your kids," she says.

Incredulous, Schear continues to argue with the employee that he shouldn't have to give up a seat that he paid for.

Schear told CBS Los Angeles that when his eldest son caught an earlier flight home, he wanted to give the seat to one of the couple's two toddlers, who were originally sitting on their laps, but could sit in a car seat.

However, Delta staff members wanted to give the seat to a standby passenger.


"He can't occupy a seat because he's two years or younger. That’s FAA regulations. This plane will not go anywhere until you guys choose to go. I’m just trying to help you," the employee can be heard saying in the video.

"Trying to help us would’ve been not overselling the flight and not trying to force us to get him out of that seat that I paid for and holding this whole plane up," Schear replied.

"So what are we supposed to do? I’ve got two infants, nowhere to stay, there's no more flights. What are we supposed to do? Sleep in the airport?"

The Schear family eventually left the plane and booked another flight home for the next day.

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Shear told CBS he did not think the situation was going to escalate to that point.

"As we were leaving the plane, there’s four or five passengers waiting for our seat. The bottom line is, they oversold the flight."

In a statement, Delta apologised and said the airline hoped to resolve the issue.

"We are sorry for what this family experienced."

"Our team has reached out and we will be talking with them to better understand what happened and come to a resolution."


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