US Rep Accused of Taking Passenger's 1st-Class Seat
United Airlines has apologized but says that's not what happened
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 25, 2017 3:39 PM CST
Ranking Member Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, speaks during a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, on Capitol Hill, in Washington,...   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – United Airlines has apologized and given a $500 travel voucher to a passenger who accused the airline of giving her first-class seat to US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat, the AP reports. An airline spokesperson said Monday that its internal systems show the passenger, Jean-Marie Simon, canceled her Dec. 18 seat from Houston to Washington, D.C. after a weather delay. Simon denies that she canceled the flight. She was given a seat in Economy Plus on the flight, and told the Houston Chronicle she saw Jackson Lee sitting in the seat that was assigned to her. United says it upgraded Jackson Lee automatically and not because she was a member of Congress. The congresswoman says in a statement that she didn't ask for anything "exceptional or out of the ordinary."

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