Delta Air Lines’ lifetime ban of a profane supporter of President-elect Donald Trump highlights a little-known but growing club of travelers who have earned the ultimate airline punishment.
As the Trump fan discovered, airline tolerance only goes so far.
The unnamed man whose loud pronouncements were captured on video didn’t get kicked off the flight but did get kicked off the airline.
In a memo to employees, Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastain said the Trump supporter “displayed behavior that was loud, rude and disrespectful to his fellow customers.”
A review of several recent onboard disruptions shows that being inconsiderate isn’t enough to trigger a lifetime ban from an airline. It takes defiant disdain for crew members or a threats to fellow passengers.
United Airlines imposed a lifetime ban on cybersecurity expert Chris Roberts last year after the founder of One World Lab in Denver sent a tweet while he was a passenger on a United flight suggesting that he could hack into the airline’s onboard system to trigger the oxygen masks to drop.
Last year, RyanAir banned a British man for harassing women on his flight from England to the Canary Islands and then passing out in the plane’s bathroom.
In 2011, a Georgia man was banned from Delta Air Lines after he was booted from a Dallas-to-Atlanta flight for telling another passenger that he was carrying poison gas in a canister and igniting a lighter near the passenger’s legs.
In 2012, Air Canada banned a man who became loud and abusive with airline employees and threatened a staffer after missing a flight from Cancun, Mexico, to Montreal.
In the latest incident, on a Nov. 22 flight from Atlanta to Allentown, Pa., the unnamed passenger stood in the aisle of the crowded plane and asked: “We got some Hillary bitches on here?”
Bastain said a review of the video showed that the man should have been ejected from the plane, although he was not. Delta not only banned the passenger from all future flights but refunded the cost of the flight for his fellow passengers.
“The heightened tension in our society means that now more than ever we must require civility in our planes and in our facilities,” the CEO wrote to employees.
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