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…