A Facebook user shared his disappointment with what he experienced on a Delta flight recently, and it’s starting to go viral. Ken Fitzgerald was on a Delta flight that also had the body of a fallen airman, who passed away on June 24, 2017. He claims that the crew made four announcements asking passengers to remain seated until the remains of the fallen airman were escorted off the aircraft first, which seems to be the normal protocol.
However, he notes that almost no one remained seated, and that’s despite the flight having arrived early. Here’s what he wrote on Facebook about the situation:
Pretty damn disappointed in people today! The flight crew made FOUR announcements, two on the decent, once upon taxiing and another upon our arrival at the gate, for folks to remain seated until our fallen Airman was escorted off the aircraft first. SSgt Andre Taylors family was there for his arrival breaking down in tears just outside the window along with Delta Airlines fallen hero escorts and the United States Air Force Honor Guard. EVERY INDIVIDUAL got up and followed SSgt Andre Taylors escorts off the aircraft without staying in their seats as instructed with the exception of myself, every commuting airline employee and the flight crew. Seriously people?
Here’s the video of the soldier’s remains being removed from the aircraft:
And here’s the video he took of passengers deplaning:
In the past, stories of a servicemember’s remains being taken off a flight have been touching and given many pause. For example, in 2013 JohnnyJet shared his experience being on a Delta flight with the remains of a fallen soldier, where everyone remained seated and was on the verge of tears.
So I have to wonder what happened in this situation. I’d like to think that most people can respect something like this, so I wonder if perhaps the situation wasn’t communicated as effectively as it could have been (it was apparently explained four times, but maybe not in a clear way). Or unfortunately perhaps it’s just that peer pressure always works, and when one person gets up, another person gets up, and before you know it, everyone is up.
It reminds me of this social experience from decades ago:
What do you think went wrong here?
(Tip of the hat to Popular Military)