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Delta Apologizes for Booting Family with 2 Children; Trump Praises Australian Universal Health Care System; Republicans Under Fire for Not Reading Health Care Bill Before Passing It; Fan Speaks Out on Racist Incidents at Fenway Park. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired May 5, 2017 - 11:30   ET



[11:30:28] ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Threatened with jail time and having their children taken away? Delta Airlines is now apologizing for booting a family with two young children from a flight. There is video of this incident, of course, posted online. It shows traveler, Brian Schear, arguing with an airline official during what was an eight-minute exchange. We have cut it down slightly so we can show it to you as it unfolds. Listen.


BRIAN SCHEAR, PLANE PASSENGER: So, my kid -- wait, so my wife's -- we're going to be in jail and my kids are going to be what?

DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: It's a federal offense if you don't abide by --

SCHEAR: I bought that seat.


SCHEAR: Right, I paid -- I got him a ticket on another flight so that my son would have a seat --


SCHEAR: -- and you're saying you're going to give that away to someone else when I paid for that seat! That's not right. You need to do what's right. I bought the seat and you need to just leave us alone.

On the way out, the flight was open, but even then, it was difficult to have a lap child, so we decided to get him a ticket on an earlier flight so we could use his seat for the car seat and let him sleep. It's a red eye. He won't sleep unless he's in a car seat.

DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: I understand, but the federal policy says that the names of the passengers supposed to be in that seat.

SCHEAR: That's not true. That's not true, actually.

(CROSSTALK) SCHEAR: No, it's not, because people move around seats on the plane all the time.


DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: Other than what's going on, is there anything else I can do? Basically, what it comes down to is as FAA. Because he's 2 and under --

SCHEAR: I've got a solution, he can sit in her lap --



SCHEAR: And then we could take off and then put him back in the car seat. That's what FAA rules are. The bottom line --


DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: No, they're not. He cannot sit in the car seat. That's the purpose of it. He has to sit in your arms the whole time. He can -- like, technically, he couldn't even be on the seat --

SCHEAR: He rode on a car seat the whole way out here on a Delta flight.

DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: And that's unfortunate. I don't know what to tell you. I'm trying to do the best I can, but what I'm letting you know is, unfortunately, he can't be there. I wish I could help you guys. I really can't --

SCHEAR: Wait, what you're saying makes no sense. Is that an option for us at this point just to hold the baby so we can take off or are they saying no? OK, ask them.


SCHEAR: So, we're getting kicked off this plane no matter what now?

DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: Yes. I told you at the beginning, you have two options. Now it's gone too far.

SCHEAR: What are we supposed to do? I have two infants with nowhere to stay. There's no more flights. What are we supposed to do, sleep in the airport?

DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: Basically, you're on your own.

SCHEAR: Wait, what are we supposed to do once we're off this plane?

DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: That is not up to me and the rest is --

SCHEAR: Well, it should be.

DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: It's not. At this point, you guys are on your own.

SCHEAR: There are things that my kids have to have that are in those bags.

DELTA AIRLINES EMPLOYEE: We will get all your bags off, sir.

SCHEAR: Are we gone? Really? Unbelievable. You guys are unbelievable. Great customer service. Awesome. Great job.


CABRERA: Oh, boy. I have high anxiety just watching that as a parent who has traveled with young children. It's stressful enough.

I want to bring in our aviation and government regulation correspondent, Rene Marsh, to help us understand the back story leading up to this confrontation and this couple with their children being booted from the plane, Rene.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION & GOVERNMENT REGULATION CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, Ana, in the end, this family, who as you heard, traveling with two young children, ended up getting kicked off of this flight. It was an overnight flight from California to Hawaii, and they were already in their seats. So, the issue was that the man's infant was in a seat that was booked originally for his older son, but that older son ended up taking an earlier flight. The flight attendant, you heard in the video there, saying that it was federal law that states that the person in the seat must be the person whose name is on the ticket.

I want to stop right there, because I did speak with TSA just a short time ago, because TSA would be very much involved as far as security issues and implementing that sort of regulation. They say, of course, your I.D. has to match the name on the ticket when you're passing through security, but there is no law as it relates to TSA that says that the name of the person -- the name of the person on the ticket has to be the person in that seat. And as you heard him there, he brought up that people change seats on a flight all of the time.

All of that said, the airline has come out to say that they are sorry. And we have a statement from them. They say, "We are sorry for the unfortunate experience our customers had with Delta and we've reached out to them to refund their travel." They also say they are providing additional compensation.

Of course, Ana, this comes after that other viral video, United Airlines, where you saw that passenger being pulled off of that full flight.

[11:35:12] CABRERA: And you talked some about the FAA and the airline policy, but it did seem like part of the issue that was discussed in this interaction back and forth had to do with the infant and a car seat being in one of those seats. What is airline policy and FAA rules when it comes to infants in car seats?

MARSH: Right. And I just spoke with the FAA as well, and a spokesperson told me that an individual can't be forced to have their child on their lap the entire way either. So, there is a lot going on here as far as what is the rule, what is the law.

I will tell you this. Many of the people I spoke to, including one consumer advocate says, to them, this sounds more like an airline policy, and the airline's policy, which the flight attendant made very clear, is that if you have a ticket and you want a seat on the plane, you have to be the person whose name is on the ticket. The consumer advocate saying there is no federal law that says that. Again, that is an airline policy.

CABRERA: All right, Rene Marsh. You've got to feel for airline employees right now. Can't be easy. Thank you very much.

Coming up, at least one Republican congressman under fire after admitting to CNN that he did not read the new health care bill before he voted for it, and he may not be the only one. Details on that just ahead.

Plus, Major League Baseball now taking action after a series of racist incidents at Fenway Park. One fan now speaking to CNN about his experience. That's coming up.


[11:40:59] CABRERA: The Republican health care bill faces a major uphill battle in the Senate next, after it narrowly passed the House yesterday.

Let me bring in my panel to discuss, New York City councilman, Joe Borelli, a Republican; and host of "The Bill Press Show," Bill Press, a Democrat, joining us.

Guys, just hours after that House bill passed, the president met with the prime minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, and he was very quick to compliment Australia's health care system. Let's listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's going to be fantastic health care. Right now, Obamacare is failing. We have a failing health care -- I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better health care than we do, but we're going to have great health care very soon.


CABRERA: Now, the Aussies have a government-run, universal Medicare system, much like the one advocated by former presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders.

So, Joe, this is not what Republicans in the House delivered.

JOSEPH BORELLI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, you have a clear example of a Trumpism. The president likes to praise leaders when he meets with them. I think you're seeing that. I think we also have to remember that Malcolm Turnbull's coalition

government right now is eyeing ways to privatize portions of Australia's health care system, called Medicare, and the government there was in a legislative fight last year in the elections over the future of their system.


CABRERA: I don't want to argue over Australia's health care system. The bottom line is, what Australians have is not what the GOP has presented, but the president is saying that Australia's health care system is far better than America's. So, don't words matter in.

BORELLI: Well, right, and Bernie Sanders was quick to point that out. And Bernie Sanders doesn't need to look 10,000 miles away to Australia to talk about a single-payer health care system. He can look at the failure that was Vermont's own health system that was pretty much failed before it even took off the ground in 2012-2014.

CABRERA: Bill, Democrats also have been criticized for their reaction to this bill passing in the House, singing, "Nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, hey, good-bye." We all know the song. Why were Democrats relishing so openly when they believe the bill passed is so bad for Americans?

BILL PRESS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First, let me comment on Australia. Of course, Australia has a great health care plan. It's the same one that Norway and Finland and Denmark and the U.K. and France and Canada have. It is called single-payer, Medicare for all. It is what President Obama should have done and did not do. But Obamacare gets us as close to universal health care, or Medicare for all, as we have ever been in this country. And, Ana, you were right, this Republican plan goes in the exact opposite direction. And I think what this shows is that Donald Trump doesn't know what the hell is in that House plan. And by the way, neither do most of the members of the House who voted for it.


CABRERA: But that's back to the question I originally asked you. Why are Democrats cheering this so much?

PRESS: I'm going to get to it. You know what, look, OK, was it silly to sing that on the House floor? Maybe. But you know, at the same time, the Republicans were playing the theme from "Rocky" for their members in their caucus room, and they were delivering cases of Bud Light beer to the House to celebrate. So, I think on both sides you just saw a lot of maybe juvenile behavior.

CABRERA: OK, so, some have argued that this bill was pushed too far too quickly without proper review, as you brought up, Bill. Senator Lindsey Graham has said any bill that has been posted less than 24 hours needs to be viewed with suspicion.

We also have some sound now with Representative Chris Collins, who admitted to our Wolf Blitzer he didn't even read the whole bill.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Did you actually sit down and read the entire bill, plus all of the amendments?

REP. CHRIS COLLINS, (R), NEW YORK: I will fully admit, Wolf, I did not, but I can also assure you, my staff did. We have to rely on our staff. I had many meetings within Energy and Commerce. We rely on our staff and we rely on our committees, and I'm comfortable that I understand this bill in its entirety.


CABRERA: Joe, this is a bill and legislation that impacts millions of people. You're an elected official. Would you vote for something you haven't even read?

[11:45:07] BORELLI: Well, look, as a former state legislator who had to vote on thousands of bills a year, I could also admit that I've never read every single bill we've ever voted on in the state legislature. But here's what's key about that, is when you're reading a bill text, you have to realize that bill text referenced other sections of law elsewhere, where actual memos would be more productive in getting an understanding of what a bill does.

And look, I know Chris Collins. He's a great congressman. You know him. This network is very familiar with him. You have him here all the time discussing policy. He understands this issue. In fact, when this bill had a specific impact on the state of New York, he was intimately involved in crafting that policy change, which would benefit his constituents. So, he's not someone that doesn't -- or is ignorant of the contents of the bill, just the opposite. And frankly speaking, I think he's done a good job changing the policy where he's seen problems.

CABRERA: Bill, I'll give you the last word.

PRESS: Let me just say, look, this is a total contradiction of everything the Republicans stand for and everything that Paul Ryan has said. You've been playing this clip over and over on this network, Paul Ryan, in 2009, saying the Congress should never, never vote on major legislation like health care that impacts one-sixth of the economy without reading the bill, having the bill up, posted, for at least three days -- that's what he said, that was his rule -- and without having the CBO score. To vote on that legislation without taking that time, and by the way, in maybe getting some Republicans in the Senate on board, not one of whom supports this legislation? To do that, I think, is absolutely -- they just abuse their authority. It's a shocking display, I think, of political stupidity.

CABRERA: All right, Bill Press, Joe Borelli, got to leave it there.


CABRERA: Thank you, and happy Friday.

Racism at the ballpark. The Red Sox are under fire after racist incidents at Fenway Park. One fan speaking to CNN about what happened when he was there. That's coming up.


[11:50:56] CABRERA: Back-to-back racist incidents at Fenway Park have now shaken the baseball community. Major League Baseball is collecting information to review policies regarding fan behavior after a fan threw a bag of peanuts to a Baltimore Orioles outfielder, Adam Jones, and called him the "N" word. Then there was a separate incident the same week. A fan was rejected and banned from Fenway Park for life after reportedly directing a racial slur at another fan.

Calvin Hannick (ph), who made a recording of the man who used that racial slur, talked to CNN this morning.


CALVIN HANNICK (ph), EYEWITNESS: The Kenyan woman sang the national anthem, a young woman. I think she was a Northeastern student. Did a great job. As soon as she was done, the fan next to me, a white middle age man, said she sang too long and "N"-worded it up. Used the slur as a verb to describe her singing. I said -- I was shocked that he said it. I wanted to make sure that I heard him correctly, and he repeated it. Then I repeated it, and I said, I want to be clear this is what you said? And he said that's right and I stand by it.

At first, I was confused by the timing of it. It seemed like he would be on his best behavior, you would think, the day after the Jones incident. Obviously, he saw me sitting with my family, who's mixed race, and so it was surprising that he would say it to me of all people on that day of all days. But then looking back, I think it was deliberate. He knew about the timing. He knew about the context. He saw my family and he decided he was going to say it anyway. The point that he could say whatever he wanted whenever he wanted to whoever he wanted, which I think is sadly becoming more of a theme, you know, recently with the national political climate having a lot of hatred in it.


CABRERA: Let me bring in CNN sports analyst and "USA Today" sports columnist, Christie Brennan.

Christine, it's disturbing to hear this story. Do you think these incidents are a reflection or gage of the political climate like Calvin said?

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: I do, Ana. I think it's certainly part of it. And people maybe feel freer to say things based on the election. I'm a sports journalist, I don't know for sure. But it certainly is a logical conclusion that people feel free to say these things and emboldened to say these things. It's horrifying and despicable. It's left now to leagues and teams to police themselves when the nation -- national discourse seems to be so crude these days.

CABRERA: We're not trying to pick on Fenway, but back-to-back incidents at the same ballpark, does that surprise you? BRENNAN: Well, all of it should surprise all of us. Because it's

just terrible. But Boston, there certainly have been complaints by African-American American players in sports for decades about Boston. That said, I love Boston and it's one of the great cities in our country and world. There are wonderful people there. We saw that it was a minority of people or maybe just one person because, the next day, with the great standing ovation for Adam Jones when he came to bat, I think that really reflected the city of Boston.

But the pivot here is that the Boston Red Sox realize what's going on. Immediately threw the fan out. And have a no-nonsense no-tolerance policy for this which is smart, but it's also good business for the future to encourage families to come and be a part of your fan experience.

CABRERA: Christine Brennan, thank you for sharing.

BRENNAN: You bet. Thank you.

[11:54:14] CABRERA: President Trump savors a couple of big wins today. First, the House passes its Obamacare bill and then a new jobs report blowing away expectations, but big obstacles remain. We'll discuss.


CABRERA: He's just out of college, but this week's "CNN Hero" is already making a huge difference in the lives of Cambodian children. The problem is a lack of access to something we all take for granted, a simple bar of soap.


UNIDENTIFIED CNN HERO: When children do not wash their hands, they are vulnerable to illnesses, which unfortunately can take their life. No child should suffer because there simply wasn't any soap available. My hope for Cambodia's youth is for them to understand that they can take their own health into their very own hands.

Very good, very good. Yes.

Just by a simple act such as hand washing.


CABRERA: Little things make a difference. To see more, go to CNN While you're there, nominate someone you think should be a 2017 "CNN Hero."

Thanks for doing this hour. I'm Ana Cabrera, in for Kate Baldwin.

"Inside Politics" with John King starts right now.

[12:00:04] JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to "Inside Politics." I'm John King. Thanks for sharing your day with us. There's some positive economic news today. Let's take a look. 211,000 new jobs added in April. The unemployment rate at its lowest point in 10 years.