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A woman claiming her first-class seat on United Airlines was taken by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) over the Christmas weekend shot back at charges she made a scene because Jackson Lee is black.
“That could have been Donald Duck in my seat,” said Jean-Marie Simon, a Democrat, according to Fox News Thursday. “I could not see who had boarded the flight. I didn’t even know who she was.”
Jean-Marie Simon's feud with United Airlines and Jackson Lee has been ongoing since she detailed the episode of being bumped from her seat in favor of the Texas representative in a Facebook post on Dec. 19.
Simon claims she was bumped without her consent or knowledge and initially argued with United employees at the gate. She later discovered Jackson Lee's identity after being informed by another Texas congressperson who revealed Jackson Lee “regularly does this” to passengers.
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) in seat 1A the one I paid for dearly, and the one United gave to her without my consent or knowledge! Fellow congressman on same flight said she does it repeatedly. @united pic.twitter.com/Q2c6u6B0Yp
— Jean-Marie Simon (@JeanMarieSimon1) December 23, 2017
After Simon snapped a picture, she had a tense exchange with a flight attendant who threatened to remove her from the plane.
Jackson Lee alleged Simon was motivated by racism:
Since this was not any fault of mine, the way the individual continued to act appeared to be, upon reflection, because I was an African American woman, seemingly an easy target along with the African American flight attendant who was very, very nice.
Simon has been fighting with United ever since, focusing her energy on them, not Jackson Lee.
"The only way she is relevant is that she has a documented history of demanding first-class service,” Simon told Fox News.
United initially said the 63-year-old Simon canceled her flight via its mobile app during a weather delay. Simon strongly denies these claims.
“I’m not some AARP grandmother who doesn’t know how to use a phone,” she said. “I know how to cancel a flight and I did not cancel this flight," Simon told Fox, alluding to possibility United is trying to age-shame her.
United credited the 140,000 miles she used to purchase the first class seat and provided her with a $500 voucher, but what she really wants is an apology from the top brass at United according to Fox.
United has NOT apologized. Man at call center, answering my form complaint, said he was very sorry, but far from written apology United owes. And $500 voucher was issued at gate right after Untied cancelled my flight, not part of “apology package.” @united
— Jean-Marie Simon (@JeanMarieSimon1) December 26, 2017
A Jackson Lee spokesman said in a statement to Fox: “The Congresswoman regrets any inconvenience that her travel may have caused to any passenger, however the issue in question involves the passenger and United Airlines.”