Airport police can be seen standing by the Schears during the incident, which was captured on video.
After further discussion with the flight crew, the flight attendant said that Grayson cannot be in a car seat at all during the flight, but must be held in a parent's arms the entire time, per FAA rules. However, this appears to contradict the FAA guidelines and Delta's own policy, which encourages parents to "purchase a seat on the aircraft and use an approved child safety seat."
Brian Schear told the flight attendant that Grayson had been in his car seat for the flight to Maui, which was also on Delta, and there had been no issue. He also asked the flight attendant why wasn't his family stopped at the gate, since they had two car seats and two children with them when they boarded.
The flight attendant told the Schears that the plane would not take off until they gave up the seat. After Brian Schear offered to hold Grayson on his lap for the entire flight, a crew member told the family that they were all being removed from the flight or the entire aircraft would be deplaned.
When Brian Schear asked what he's supposed to do with two young children at midnight, with no hotel booked and no more flights until morning, the flight attendant told him, "At this point, you guys are on your own."
The Schears left the flight, secured a hotel and paid for airfare home on United, which cost $2,000, according to KABC. He said that four standby passengers were placed in their seats as they left the flight, but in a statement from Delta to KABC, the airline claimed the flight was not overbooked. The airline said it was "sorry for what this family experienced" and told Reuters that it had contacted the Schears to refund the family's travel expenses and provide additional compensation.