Ugh, The Captain Of The #BoycottDelta Flight Is An Idiot…

The biggest airline story of the week has been about a YouTube prankster who got kicked off a Delta flight from London to New York yesterday morning. I shared my initial impressions of the situation, and then wrote a follow-up post about why I think it’s too soon to point fingers at/boycott Delta, given this guy’s history.

Then yesterday evening I shared Delta’s statement after the plane landed in New York. So I think it’s only fair to share the follow-up story from the two guys who had been kicked off the plane, as they published follow-up videos.

Adam published the following video, with his account of what happened:

It’s interesting that they address the fact that this is like the “boy who cried wolf” given Adam’s history. Furthermore, his travel companion, “Slim” suggests that this is all “his” issue and that Adam was just defending him, as a way of trying to increase credibility. I’m not really sure I follow that thought process, given that they claim what caused the problem at first was Adam calling his mom and speaking Arabic, and then speaking to Slim in Arabic.

Then here’s Slim’s video about the incident, including some footage of them talking to the flight’s captain, and what happened afterwards:

The captain comes across as a total dud, and certainly doesn’t help the situation. Actually, I think he made it significantly worse. Admittedly Adam and Slim are playing up that they’re “bearded men” (they say it repeatedly), and the captain responds with “we have an elevated situation with a lot of terrorists.” Oy, really? A captain should know better than to say something like that, and if they were in fact removed for being disruptive (as the airline claims), then that should be a moot point.

So we still don’t know what actually triggered the incident. As is often the case, I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Based on the accounts we’ve heard on both sides, it sounds like they may have been discriminated against by a few passengers, but then rather than downplaying the situation it was escalated. By the time Delta got involved, they were just trying to prevent a further conflict. At least that’s what it’s looking like to me based on the accounts I’ve read. I suspect we’ll learn more soon…

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Delta did the right thing. There’s no universal right to fly any airline and I will make sure to give business to Delta following this.

    Remember, the people threatening a boycott are mostly angry SJWs and men flying with their wives’ sons. They don’t make much money anyway.

  2. we are in the era where any moron can post a video of absolute nonsense and become a star because there are 100 idiots who will sit there and watch it. If you’re a big enough moron, you’ll get 1000’s or even 1,000,000’x of morons to watch. I guess i can understand the original moron, as ad revenue can add up with enough views. It’s the people who actively watch all these stupid videos i’ll never understand.

  3. There is one guy on reddit claiming he was on the flight, he posted his boarding pass as proof.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/socialmedia/comments/5jmb1o/i_was_on_virgindelta_flight_5301_what_happened/

    On the reddit thread you can also find other facebook posts that confirm that he never called his mum, instead he just shouted something in arabic.
    https://imgur.com/a/QK821
    http://imgur.com/a/g2iVX

    Such a jerk… He clearly wanted to provoke reactions and then he cried about it when it went too far…

  4. only in the USA 🙂 why are you guys so paranoid? you think you’re superior to anything just because someone speaks a different language? I’m sure next time I or someone speaks ANY other language (yes, other languages than English exist :)) on a domestic US plane, someone surely will feel uncomfortable.

    hilarious…!! and sad at the same time.

  5. you see, when you have so many pilots died in terror attacks while your career it’s completely normal to act like this fellow, it’s like when you find someone in your house in the middle of the night roaming around you don’t ask if he is a thief, you punch, shoot, kick… he should do the same, knock them out and throw them off his plane.

  6. Lucky as a frequent flyer you should know that the last thing the crew needs to deal with is an altercation flying one of the Nat tracks across the pond at 36,000 ft.
    How about you google terrorist and news and see what pops up recently. Would you call that an elevated situation? Berlin ring a bell?
    Captain’s responsibility lies with safety of crew and passengers. Will always take safest action. If it can be handled on the ground this will always be the prudent course of action.

    There is a plan set up for dealing with everything from this altercation to threats against passengers, crew, and aircraft. Even if there is a bomb on board the best place to move it if able.

    I assure you this was not a knee jerk reaction.

    Jay (787 Pilot for US airline)

  7. These guys are terrorists. Maybe they aren’t blowing planes up but they are terrorizing other passengers. If you can’t be an adult and respectful you should lose your privelage to fly. These guys are clearly trying to get a rise out of people by conducting these social experiments as they said.

  8. These two young men are the victims of a little known disorder known as “white rage”. You must understand that when young bearded men start spreaking arabic loudly on an airplane we feel threatened and demand your removal from the plane. Young bearded men should avoid white folks all together if they intend to act in an agressive manner. Acting like a jackass will provoke a similar response.

  9. Seriously? This guy calls himself a “professional idiot”, and has a history of fabricating false reports that he posts on his YouTube site to gain more publicity. Clearly he didn’t just innocently “call his mom”, from the plane, and speak in Arabic, without knowing exactly what to expect. They obviously purposely created a “situation”, filmed it, and then broadcast it for personal gain.

    So maybe the pilot didn’t handle this as well as one would like, I don’t know because I wasn’t there and I’m not about to give this guy more clicks to see his video. But the pilot didn’t cause this event, they did, and they bear the full responsibility for what occurred.

    This is absolutely the type of “fake news” that Hillary Clinton is complaining about… 😉

  10. Right on, Ben. Not well played by the Captain. Thing is, the Captain didn’t need to engage in debate with the trouble-makers. He already had cause to throw them off without invoking terrorism.

  11. Wow… surprised by the comments. I thought that frequent flyers would be a bit better educated and not jump to conclusions, on either side! Some overtly xenophobic comments for sure.. ‘send them back where they came from’ – yes, America, please take your idiots back on the flight they booked on

  12. @Speedbird If I have children and two idiots are going to start screaming across the plane in any language and then tell my wife to shutup or whatever happened there is certainly going to be a problem. Trying to make this a race thing is just pathetic. They should have been kicked off the plane and we saw in the video they were going out of their way to make a huge scene.

  13. @dt
    When I travel to America, with my friend who doesn’t speak english, we are always treated as well as anyone else, because we have curtesy and treat people the same way we wish to be treated, and we don’t shout.

    There is a “trend” in my country when a type of people (about 80% of the travelers) goes on holiday trips by plane, no matter how early in the day it is, they start the trip at the airport bar, continues to the duty free, then they drink like teenagers on the plane, this is where some of them start to misbehave, get loud and becomes as*holes. That is when they are kicked out of the plane and/or blacklisted.
    They are called Norwegians.

    If you are acting out and being an asshole on board a plane, you should be kick off it, no matter where you’re from and how you look.

    This Adam dude is an attention whore who can’t handle the fire when his own flame gets too hot.

  14. This guy’s history of being a grade-A asshole has completely evaporated any shred of sympathy I had for him. The sooner his 15 minutes are up, the better.

  15. Nate..lucky would cower behind the bar or lock himself in the first class bathroom and drink his champagne from there.

  16. where are all the norwegians going on vacation?

    I can drink all day, get belligerant, and then talk to a religious figure who does not speak english.

    Sounds like Sunday down at my church.

  17. As a retired airline captain (and attorney), I would have to opine that the captain was absolutely right in the sense that the captain’s responsibility extends to resolving all issues on the side of safety. When the situation is ambiguous, as this one was–the guys seemed average on the one hand, but were a little boisterous, and at the same time were speaking Arabic and were challenging all comers–the captain must make a quick decision as to the safest course of action and make it stick. As an aside, it seems in retrospect that the guys deliberately tried to create a situation to put the airline the spot; however, the captain is operating in real time and can’t take a chance that it’s a game or a spoof.

  18. I have a strong feeling that these two passengers were escalating the situation to the stage to get removed from the plane.
    The video does not cover the part what and who exactly triggered the situation, so it is impossible to decide from outside, but watching this guy shouting for minutes long, I feel like he just wanted things to go bad way.

  19. @drunkspeedbird

    They are going to “syden”, which is basically Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, Cyprus, and especially Gran Canaria (which is Spain, but different).
    Trust me, this is a special kind of people, the kind that wears socks with sandals, wear clothes covered in the Norwegian flag, get drunk out of their mind (not in the classy cool kind of way), and goes to “Norwegian” bars and restaurants when they are abroad.
    You have to meet them in their right element to understand it.
    But you would have to learn Norwegian to be able to infiltrate this species.

  20. Oh – I will pass. I live in Florida and see this all the time. We have degenerates from all over the world but no norweigens bars that I am aware of.

    Next time your in Ft. Lauderdale International check out the adds from drug and alcohol rehab.

  21. #Truth

    Ben – stop with this TMZ garbage. Grow up.

    Mark O says:
    December 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm
    You are an”idiot” for giving these two losers their 15 minutes of shame.

  22. For me, these type of incidents should not even be posted on any blogs, this just gives them the 15 mins of fame that they are looking for. Hopefully they get punished for this.
    What a bunch of jokers these 2 – giving the good people a bad name.

  23. So you included a link to his video thereby enabling him to earn more clicks ($$s) for this publicity stunt.

  24. This happens often. Adam being a famous YouTuber is milking the situation. Nothing wrong with that. That’s his bread n butter. Unlucky Delta they kicked out the wrong people. This story is all over the mainstream media. Adam is the sole beneficiary of this whole episode though he is playing victim. He would love to be in the situation again without batting an eyelid!

    PS I am long beard sporting Muslim myself I was recently asked to Step Aside and police called in to interview me as I was clicking pictures in Edinburgh airport. I fully understand the paranoia people have towards beards n other languages being spoken. It’s better to accept this fact for frequent travellers.

  25. @cleanandsoberbird

    Lol, I am flying out of Ft.Myers next year, close enough?
    I am staying clear of Minnesota at least, there’s a lot of Norway-loving Americans there, and I prefer to go “local” when I am traveling, plus it’s cold there, Florida is way better. You lucky bastard.

  26. You’re off base for calling the captain an idiot. Stick to blogging, and don’t armchair quarterback. Your 400k butt-in-seat miles don’t qualify you to prognosticate on matters of flight safety.

    I say this as a longtime “Lucky defender.”

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