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United Airlines apologizes to passenger who says Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee took her seat

United apologizes to passenger who says U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee took her seat

by Associated Press /
Image: House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department
Democratic Representative from Texas Sheila Jackson Lee holds up the images of Leigh Corfman (L), Wendy Miller (Top L), Debbie Wesson Gibson (Center L) and Gloria Thacker Deason (Bottom L); who have accused Republican candidate for the US Senate Roy Moore (image R) of sexual misconduct; during the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department with testimony from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions (not pictured), on Capitol Hill on November 14, 2017 in Washington.Michael Reynolds / EPA

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HOUSTON — United Airlines has apologized and given a $500 travel voucher to a passenger who accused the airline of giving her first-class seat to U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Houston Democrat.

An airline spokeswoman 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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