The man was allowed to remain on the Nov. 22 flight from Atlanta to Allentown, Pa., according to the Allentown Morning Call, which spoke with the woman who shot the video. But Delta later apologized for the disruption, saying that the man shouldn’t have been able to stay in the plane.
And, in an internal memo to employees, the company’s chief executive said that the Trump supporter in the video won’t be flying with Delta again.
“We are sorry to our customers who experienced this disruption,” the company said in a statement Saturday. “We have followed up with the teams involved, and all agree that this customer should not have been allowed to continue on the flight.”
The statement continued: “Our responsibility for ensuring all customers feel safe and comfortable with Delta includes requiring civil behavior from everyone. The behavior we see in this video does not square with our training or culture, and follow up will continue so we can better ensure our employees will know they will be fully supported to make the right decisions when these issues arise.”
In a memo sent to Delta employees Monday, the company’s chief executive, Ed Bastian, said that the man “will never again be allowed on a Delta plane.”
“This individual displayed behavior that was loud, rude and disrespectful to his fellow customers,” Bastian wrote. “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.”
The company will be refunding customers the cost of their tickets, said Bastian, who also noted that he wants employees to 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,” he wrote. “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.”
Emma Baum, the 21-year-old woman who filmed the man’s rant, told the Morning Call that the man had voiced his support for the president-elect before boarding the plane. According to Baum, he was shouting about Trump while in the terminal of the airport.
After he was aboard the flight, the man continued talking about Trump and told Baum that it was okay to film him after he stood up.
“He said, ‘Go ahead! I want to tell everyone about Trump. I hope it goes viral,’ ” Baum told the Morning Call.
Baum told the newspaper that a flight attendant did initially take the man off the plane, but he later came back.
“When he came back in, he said, ‘This is what I get for being a patriot,’ ” Baum said, according to the Morning Call report.
The disruption was one of several incidents that have been reported in the wake of the presidential election and Trump’s victory.
In Pennsylvania, high school students were caught on video parading through the hallways with a Trump sign. In the footage, someone can be heard saying: “White power.”
And in Alabama, a teacher was placed on administrative leave after displaying an image of Trump, which was in the style of the iconic Obama “Hope” poster. Instead of the word “Hope” and President Obama’s face, however, it showed a picture of a smiling Trump, and the words: “Obama, You’re Fired!”
Earlier this month, there was also an incident aboard a United Airlines flight, in which a pilot asked passengers to keep their political opinions to themselves after a dispute broke out.
“We’re gonna be in a metal tube at 35,000 feet,” the pilot said in comments that were caught on video. “I understand everybody has their opinions, that’s fine. If you support him, great. If you don’t, I understand. However, we’re out here to go to Puerto Vallarta to have a good time.”