Family kicked off Delta flight, threatened with jail, foster care

Video of the incident shows Brian Schear arguing with a police officer and presumably a Delta employee over a seat he'd originally purchased for his teenage son. Schear told NBC News the couple spoke to a ticket agent before boarding the plane, and the agent arranged for the family to sit together.

When Mason did not arrive for the overbooked flight, the airline asked Shear to remove his two-year-old son from the seat and hold him in his lap, Shear told KABC.

The AP goes on to say that on Delta's website, the airline recommends that parents purchase a seat for children under two and place the child in a child-safety seat that is approved.

"We flew out here on a Delta plane and he sat in a auto seat", responded Schear.

At one point, a member of Delta staff can be heard telling the family: "This is a federal offence and then you and your wife will be in jail and your kids will be in foster care".

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The airline worker tells Schear that if he did not remove the child from the auto seat, the family would be kicked off the plane-and to disobey that directive would be "a federal offense".

"I bought the seat..." said Schear. "You're saying you're going to give that away to someone else when I paid for that seat".

The incident has brought up several questions about aviation rules, from Delta's widely shared airline policy that children who are at least two years old must have their own paid seats to the Federal Aviation Administration's recommendation of auto seats for kids who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds - a range that includes most two-year-olds.

Although Brian eventually agreed to hold the child in his lap, the family was told to exit the plane.

Delta Air Lines is offering refunds and compensation to a California family that says they were forced off a plane and threatened with jail after refusing to give up one of their seats on a crowded flight. Join the discussion on our Facebook page. "Do you want to get off on your own, or.?"

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However, the FAA website actually encourages child restraint systems, or auto seats, for travel.

While Delta maintained that the company goal is to work with customers to resolve any potential travel issues, the airline noted that "that did not happen in this case and we apologize".

Brian Schear and his family were aboard a flight headed to Los Angeles.

Quick! Do you know your rights on an airplane? "Our team has reached out, and we will be talking with them to better understand what happened and come to a resolution". Starting it all off was a confrontation between United Airlines staff who dragged off a passenger who refused to give up his seat on a flight that was overbooked.

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