As I wrote about yesterday, last week video footage emerged of a Trump supporter getting up and yelling at passengers, calling them “Hillary Bitches,” and saying that “Donald Trump is your president, every goddamn one of you.”
Yesterday Delta responded to this incident, apologizing for not kicking off the passenger. I gave Delta kudos for acknowledging what happened and apologizing.
Well, it looks like they’re taking it a step further. Today Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, sent out a letter to employees indicating that the passenger in question is banned from Delta, and Delta will be refunding the cost of tickets for passengers on that flight, and asking employees to ensure “civility on [their] planes.” Here’s the letter:
Thank you for the amazing job you did running our operation and taking care of our customers during the busy Thanksgiving holiday. At Delta, we strive to deliver a safe and reliable product while providing a customer experience that is second to none. You come to work every day prepared to serve our customers and to take care of each other while also dealing with the unexpected.
As you may have heard by now, last week a video began circulating around the internet showing a disruptive passenger on board a Delta flight. This individual displayed behavior that was loud, rude and disrespectful to his fellow customers. After questioning the customer, our team members made the best decision they could given the information they had and allowed him to remain on the flight. However, if our colleagues had witnessed firsthand what was shown in the video, there is no question they would have removed him from the aircraft. He will never again be allowed on a Delta plane.
Part of being a reliable travel partner and a servant leader is acknowledging our mistakes so we can learn from them and respond more effectively in the future. Delta has apologized to the customers onboard that flight. We are also refunding those customers the cost of their tickets.
I also want to make sure all of you know we have your backs. The heightened tension in our society means that now more than ever we must require civility on our planes and in our facilities. We must stay true to Delta’s core values and treat one another with dignity and respect. We also must remain committed more than ever to the safety of our customers and our crew members. We will not tolerate anything less.
Again, thank you for all you do.
Delta has long been brilliant when it comes to reactive PR, and this is no different. Refunding the ticket costs of those onboard is over the top, really, and kudos to him for saying he has employees’ backs.
I just hope this is interpreted correctly. The issue is that this goes both ways. While this passenger should have been removed from the flight, we also know that since 9/11 there are many airline employees on power trips, who feel like they can remove passengers from planes for just about anything. For example, take this American employee who threatened to have a passenger arrested for taking a video.
Anyway, well played Delta, well played. They sure know how to turn negative press into something positive.
What do you make of Delta’s over the top response in this situation?