Delta Slaps Lifetime Ban on Passenger After Pro-Trump Rantby and
CEO calls man’s behavior ‘loud, rude and disrespectful’
Video of incident drew widespread attention on social media
Delta Air Lines Inc. imposed a lifetime ban on a passenger who disrupted a flight by yelling statements in favor of President-elect Donald Trump and making derogatory comments aimed at women who supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
“This individual displayed behavior that was loud, rude and disrespectful to his fellow customers,” Delta Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said in a letter to employees Monday. “He will never again be allowed on a Delta plane.”
The man on Flight 248 from Atlanta to Allentown, Pennsylvania, shouted and clapped “Donald Trump, baby,” before telling his fellow passengers “He’s your president” and “If you don’t like it, too bad.” He also swore at them, according to a video that drew widespread attention on social media.
A Delta spokesman said the carrier wouldn’t comment beyond Bastian’s memo to employees and the CEO didn’t take questions from the press following a luncheon speech in Atlanta on Monday. Delta publicly apologized Saturday for the Nov. 22 incident and said the passenger should have been removed from the flight. The airline also refunded fares to other travelers onboard.
U.S. carriers can unilaterally ban passengers based on standards set by the companies, according to Airlines for America, an industry trade group.
“The safety and well being of all of our customers and crew is always our highest priority,” said Kathy Allen, a spokeswoman for the group, which represents most of the biggest carriers. “Airlines in rare instances must make the decision to remove disruptive passengers or, in extremely rare cases, decline their future business to ensure a safe and pleasant flight experience for all.”
American Airlines Group Inc. “has banned people in the past,” said spokesman Ross Feinstein, declining to discuss specific instances. “We investigate incidents that may occur on our aircraft, and what further action is taken is determined on a case-by-case basis.”