Delta Air Lines is taking its passenger discipline to the next level, and I’m all for it, I think.
Delta will permanently ban uncivil passengers
Delta CEO Ed Bastian is threatening to permanently ban passengers who don’t show respect and civility to others, including employees and fellow passengers. In a memo to employees, Bastian wrote the following:
“Please know that respect and civility to others on our planes, at our airports, in our workplaces, and in our society — even when we have differences of opinion — have always been a requirement for our people and our customers. Those who refuse to display basic civility to our people or their fellow travelers are not welcome on Delta. Their actions will not be tolerated, and they will not have the privilege of flying our airline ever again.”
This is a new development. Delta has already banned over 800 passengers over mask compliance issues, though the nature of these bans is different. Passengers banned from Delta over mask issues can fly with Delta again when the mask mandate ends.
Meanwhile this new behavior-based ban would apply permanently, it seems. Arguably many people who were banned from Delta over mask compliance really should have been banned over behavior — after all, the issue hasn’t typically been that people are incapable of wearing masks, but rather that they refuse to do so.
If enforced, this would be unprecedented
The events of January 6 have changed a lot of things in the travel industry. In addition to travel companies adopting more restrictive policies, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that anyone who misbehaves on a plane will be fined and/or imprisoned, rather than receiving a warning.
While this “zero tolerance” FAA policy is temporary for now, I’d personally like to see it stick around. There’s simply no room for people to get into fights at airports and on airplanes, and historically there has been very little punishment for those who did, at least in the US:
- Even when police officers have been called, passengers are typically just removed from planes and not actually charged with anything
- When flights are diverted due to bad passenger behavior, the passenger isn’t typically sent a bill for the cost of the diversion
- Historically airlines haven’t really had widespread ban lists over passenger behavior
I do hope that Delta uses ban lists for unruly passengers permanently, because it makes a lot of sense. Obviously there’s always the risk of airline employees going on a power trip, but to me that’s outweighed by the number of people who have acted like fools on planes lately (and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon).
Delta Air Lines is threatening to permanently ban passengers who don’t show respect and civility to employees and passengers. Personally I think the US airline industry is long overdue for some more repercussions for poor behavior on planes.
Between the FAA promising to fine and/or arrest people, and Delta now threatening to permanently ban misbehaving passengers, here’s to hoping that these policies actually start to deter bad behavior.
Would you like to see more airlines ban rude passengers?