Delta Threatens Misbehaving SkyMiles Members

Delta Threatens Misbehaving SkyMiles Members

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Delta is now threatening to ban SkyMiles members who threaten and/or insult Delta employees, and much more.

Delta SkyMiles could ban abusive passengers

The Delta SkyMiles program rules have just been updated in a noteworthy way. SkyMiles members can now be banned from the frequent flyer program for documented abusive behavior towards Delta employees.

Specifically, the SkyMiles program is threatening to ban members if they insult or threaten Delta employees, if they use excessive obscene or profane language directed at Delta employees, and/or if they intentionally destruct Delta property.

Here’s what has been added to the terms:

Delta may terminate your SkyMiles membership, including any Medallion Status, on the basis of documented abusive behavior.

Abusive behavior means behavior that is directed at a Delta Employee or ambassador, during travel or interactions with Delta’s Reservations or Customer Care personnel, where the passenger’s conduct is disorderly, abusive or violent, including without limitation:

  1. Personal threats toward a Delta employee or ambassador;
  2. Excessive/repeated obscene or profane language directed toward a Delta employee or ambassador;
  3. Insults or slurs directed toward a Delta employee or ambassador; or
  4. Intentional destruction of Delta property.

This update isn’t too surprising

It goes without saying that passenger behavior during the pandemic has gotten significantly worse, between mask compliance issues, political differences, and people just generally being on edge.

It has gotten so bad that at the beginning of 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration introduced a zero-tolerance policy, whereby passengers can face jail time or up to a $35,000 fine for misbehaving on a flight.

Beyond new federal regulations, we’ve seen airlines take matters into their own hands, and arguably Delta has been at the forefront of that. Also earlier this year, Delta threatened rude passengers with lifetime bans. As Delta CEO Ed Bastian described this in a memo to employees:

“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.”

What makes this latest policy different?

  • The previous update was for banning passengers from the airline, while this update is for banning members from the frequent flyer program
  • The previous update applied to acting poorly towards both employees and fellow travelers, while this update applies exclusively to acting poorly towards employees

Ultimately this seems like a reasonable measure for the airline to introduce, and it’s a good way for Delta to stand up for its employees, given how terrible some people are. Whether or not any members will actually be banned for this reason remains to be seen.

I’d consider this to be more reasonable than the recent British Airways Executive Club update, which essentially gives the airline the right to ban passengers from the program for criticizing the airline.

Bottom line

Earlier this year Delta started to threaten to ban passengers from the airline if they misbehaved towards employees, and now the airline is threatening to ban members from the SkyMiles program for similar behavior.

This includes those who threaten employees, use profanity towards them, or insult them, as well as anyone who intentionally destruct Delta property.

What do you make of Delta’s SkyMiles updates?

Conversations (60)
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  1. Nantastik

    I am super frustrated that I am not able to reach DELTA Customer Service by 'phone: a five-hour hold time is predicted or via the Message Feature on Delta.com or in the Delta App.
    I cannot fix a reservation; I need a person.
    And, I promise to be kind when I ask for help.

  2. Dean

    Ive flown on many airlines, idiots and rude people are every where and generally should just stay home.
    Race, color or how you identify yourself was NOT mentioned in Delta's rules....if YOU added or implied any references about race or color? Your showing your own prejudice.. it's quite simple,,, Delta don't want rude, selfish or unruly people on the planes. THANK YOU DELTA, I hope other airlines also implement rules to keep customers and...

    Ive flown on many airlines, idiots and rude people are every where and generally should just stay home.
    Race, color or how you identify yourself was NOT mentioned in Delta's rules....if YOU added or implied any references about race or color? Your showing your own prejudice.. it's quite simple,,, Delta don't want rude, selfish or unruly people on the planes. THANK YOU DELTA, I hope other airlines also implement rules to keep customers and employees safe and enjoy the trip they want to ENJOY..

  3. Dominic Yeo

    I really pity Delta, but I do respect them for undertaking this task.

    Delta essentially is America Tier 2, 3 city airline. It was explained to me by a Singapore based joint Air France KLM/ Delta/ China Eastern employee, that for the ethnic minorities living in the second, third tier cities still believe that racism and stuff is still as it was, as if Martin Luther King Jr was just assasinated.

    It also doesn't help...

    I really pity Delta, but I do respect them for undertaking this task.

    Delta essentially is America Tier 2, 3 city airline. It was explained to me by a Singapore based joint Air France KLM/ Delta/ China Eastern employee, that for the ethnic minorities living in the second, third tier cities still believe that racism and stuff is still as it was, as if Martin Luther King Jr was just assasinated.

    It also doesn't help that local religious communities have been pushing puritanical beliefs, and they're coming into big cities and basically seeing blasphemy.

    Please don't view them as racist or cast judgements on them. This is part of their learning process as they embark their journey from noveau riche to sophistication. We all were previously like that too.

    Yes, even in America, no one is like the other.

  4. Richard Scott Crandall

    I hope Delta officials read the comments, they will already be starting there list from these comments, I worked with the public for over 20 years in retail, sales, customer service and so many people or so self serving and treat other human beings as shit. Its amazing how self important someone can be to another, on multiple occasions in have been insulted, my mother has been insulted even thou she wasn't there, I have...

    I hope Delta officials read the comments, they will already be starting there list from these comments, I worked with the public for over 20 years in retail, sales, customer service and so many people or so self serving and treat other human beings as shit. Its amazing how self important someone can be to another, on multiple occasions in have been insulted, my mother has been insulted even thou she wasn't there, I have been called a lair a cheat, communist, racist, one customer informed me that's he could buy and sale me, when I worked at a hotel on the Oregon coast a guest insisted that I call the U.S. coast guard and tell them to turn off the foghorn as it was keeping him awake, insisting that they were no longer nessisary as they now have sonar

  5. Marci Kesserich

    "In a post pandemic world no one really knows what is considered abusive and what’s constructive any more."

    As you are no doubt a firm believer in personal responsibility, it sounds like this is an excellent opportunity for you to educate yourself and amend your behavior accordingly.

  6. Jerome

    This is the new “resisting arrest”. Cranky or power hungry FA (we’ve all seen them) will write up anyone they don’t like.
    If there was no video of the David Dao incident (who was flying United), I bet he’d get written up after being assaulted by thug thug-for-hire airport cops, doing the air crew’s dirty work.

    I’d institute reciprocity. For every banned passenger, let’s have Delta file just on of their crew. So we...

    This is the new “resisting arrest”. Cranky or power hungry FA (we’ve all seen them) will write up anyone they don’t like.
    If there was no video of the David Dao incident (who was flying United), I bet he’d get written up after being assaulted by thug thug-for-hire airport cops, doing the air crew’s dirty work.

    I’d institute reciprocity. For every banned passenger, let’s have Delta file just on of their crew. So we know they care about civility and customer experience, instead of, yet again, protecting their own at everyone else’s expense.

  7. Astrid Rodriguez

    @Brian. Well looks you are one that needs to be banned.

  8. Greg

    I'd like to know what % of the rise in problems reported involve Medallion or even Skymiles members

    With fares so low during the pandemic it's attracted people who normally can't afford to fly and otherwise drive or take the bus

  9. Ralph4878

    @MYSELF - your argument here feels entirely disingenuous: I've been on flights, too, where folks are very clearly and intentionally doing what @aaron described because they don't want to follow the rule. It's obnoxious, not to mention dangerous. This is why, as a society, the United States is a total mess - too many people believe what they want to believe (like you, clearly - the science is clear on masks), do what they want...

    @MYSELF - your argument here feels entirely disingenuous: I've been on flights, too, where folks are very clearly and intentionally doing what @aaron described because they don't want to follow the rule. It's obnoxious, not to mention dangerous. This is why, as a society, the United States is a total mess - too many people believe what they want to believe (like you, clearly - the science is clear on masks), do what they want to do, without regard for anyone else's safety, and think it's okay. It's unbelievable that in 2021 people are running around, crying about "cancel culture" when all that's really happening is people are (finally) being held accountable for their actions, words, and negligence. Just like how the 1st Amendment doesn't actually mean you can say whatever the heck you want and not face repercussions for it (which is how so many on the Right are portraying it to be right now), these rules on masks are being intentionally misconstrued so jerks don't have to experience 2 hours of minor inconvenience for the safety of themselves and hundreds of others on the plane. As I say to me children all the time, this is why we can't have nice things.

  10. Ean

    Just follow the rules. Get on the plane, stow your carry on, and sit in your seat.

  11. dan

    People need to stop being jerks to each other. Good for delta. I get it that people are on edge but this is no reason to be a jerk to someone else just doing their job. I do hope that this doesn't cause employees on power trips to abuse this.

  12. bob

    @MYSELF
    The science of masking protecting you has been proven over and over and over. Not just for covid but for all aerosol and contact illness. There is not a single hospital on the planet that would refute that. However, if you think you know more than all the doctors in the world ok.

    Thats why when the doctor operates on you they have a mask on. While a mask may not offer 100,...

    @MYSELF
    The science of masking protecting you has been proven over and over and over. Not just for covid but for all aerosol and contact illness. There is not a single hospital on the planet that would refute that. However, if you think you know more than all the doctors in the world ok.

    Thats why when the doctor operates on you they have a mask on. While a mask may not offer 100, 80 or even 50% protection vs covid, you want to be as safe as possible. The risk vs hassle factor is nothing. The fact that people don't want to wear one is simply to be different and intentionally annoying. You know and I know that many of these belligerent folks are anti masking strictly to be that person who wants to be the annoying one in the group. We all know those types of people. You say up they say down, you say yes they say no. They don't even know what the question was. They know nothing about science. I'm willing to bet if you look at their lives, its a colossal mess and will be so for the remainder of their days because thats who they are. I know folks who are basically casts on an episode of law and order who tells people they would never take a vaccine nor trust whats in it, yet they tell me that while they are smoking or vaping. yeah ok. No wonder you're on your 3rd marriage and your kid just OD themselves and you're medicating to numb yourself.

    How do we know masks work, ask hong kong, japan, south korea, taiwan and to a degree even china. The've been through SARS, MERS, avian flu etc. for more than a decade. This is why they all automatically slap on their masks early on and why they consider 1,000 cases of covid a surge while we have a single state that can produce 10x that many cases meanwhile they live practically on top of one another.

    If you don't believe a mask is at all helpful, fine. Next time you or someone you care about goes to the hospital, be sure to let the doctors and nurses know they don't need to wear one, or gloves or gowns when they operate.

  13. dalo

    Having flown several hundred times I have never heard a raised voice, never an argument. The incidents we hear about amount to very few out of many thousands of flights. I expect this action threatened by Delta ( or any other airlines) to be enforced rarely and only in the worst cases.

  14. Tim Dunn

    There is no doubt that there are way too many unruly passenger incidents. I have traveled less during the past year than I have in decades - but I haven't stayed at home - and still have had to return to the gate twice to remove unruly passengers before we ever took off.

    I don't think this policy will really affect the most loyal passengers of any airline.

    Still, it is concerting when private...

    There is no doubt that there are way too many unruly passenger incidents. I have traveled less during the past year than I have in decades - but I haven't stayed at home - and still have had to return to the gate twice to remove unruly passengers before we ever took off.

    I don't think this policy will really affect the most loyal passengers of any airline.

    Still, it is concerting when private companies take it upon themselves to become prosecutor, judge and jury. Presumably, there are checks and balances but this could backfire.

    and, as noted, personal crew preferences even to placate the majority of customers - such as keeping window shades down so others can watch IFE - is not disobeying policy or rules. If Delta or other airlines don't want people to look out the window, block the windows like on freighters. If airlines don't want anybody to recline, remove that feature - and then deal with the repercussions of both.

    There is a way civilly to deal with the irritations of life. The goal is to restore that and make flying a pleasant experience.

  15. Bob

    @brian.
    I would hope that you can comprehend the difference between an employee being offended by an off cuff statement vs an employee being physically assaulted. If you enjoy going to work and get a slap in the face every few weeks, well thats good on you I guess. But most people wouldn't appreciate that. I would expect my employer to protect my rights from idiots like that.
    Here's just a few from...

    @brian.
    I would hope that you can comprehend the difference between an employee being offended by an off cuff statement vs an employee being physically assaulted. If you enjoy going to work and get a slap in the face every few weeks, well thats good on you I guess. But most people wouldn't appreciate that. I would expect my employer to protect my rights from idiots like that.
    Here's just a few from the last couple of "days".

    https://taphaps.com/spirit-airlines-brawl-passengers-1/
    https://news.yahoo.com/american-airlines-passenger-attacks-attendant-184626629.html
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/chenasia-campbell-charges-attack-flight-attendant/

  16. Diane Soule

    While I agree there should be no “abuse” of employees or truly bad behavior, the language seems very loosely interpreted. As a frequent flyer I have personally been “ mistreated” by employees who know they hold the keys to getting you where you need to be and are arrogant or short with me or just don’t communicate at all. What do I get for that?

  17. John b gorman

    Good for them. Disobeying a flight Attendant is a federal offense.
    However, it is a 2 way street. On a Southwest flight ,we had an intermittent stop. the gate agent came on the plane and announced that we would be on the ground for 30 minutes. He said Southwest preferred we stay on the plane. But I really needed to stretch my legs and deplaned and walked around the gate area, ready to reboard....

    Good for them. Disobeying a flight Attendant is a federal offense.
    However, it is a 2 way street. On a Southwest flight ,we had an intermittent stop. the gate agent came on the plane and announced that we would be on the ground for 30 minutes. He said Southwest preferred we stay on the plane. But I really needed to stretch my legs and deplaned and walked around the gate area, ready to reboard. The gate agent threw a hissy fit. He said disobeying him was a safety issue. I said I did not disobey. He was not going to let me reboard. A supervisor stepped in and I was on my way.

    So like all people in authority, they shouldn't abuse it. But 99% of the incidents are caused unruly passengers .

  18. Shawn

    Way to get something right Delta! I'm a former DL employee and can tell you that these complaints already have a verification process. This truly isn't a new policy, it's just expanded. And Jet Blue has had this policy since day 1!!

  19. MYSELF

    @aaron so what you're saying is that those people complied with the rules. Those rules clearly state that a mask can be removed whilst eating or drinking. If they chose to eat/ drink throughout the flight that is their choice to do so and within the rules. The rules do NOT state "eat or drink for X % of the flight". No rules were broken whether you like it or not.

    Did they potentially...

    @aaron so what you're saying is that those people complied with the rules. Those rules clearly state that a mask can be removed whilst eating or drinking. If they chose to eat/ drink throughout the flight that is their choice to do so and within the rules. The rules do NOT state "eat or drink for X % of the flight". No rules were broken whether you like it or not.

    Did they potentially use those rules to serve their own beliefs, subjectivity you could say yes they did. However what they didn't do is break any rules by doing so. The reason, as you asserted, the FA's got frustrated is irrelevant. They had nothing to get frustrated with because those people who chose to eat throughout the flight weren't doing anything wrong and the FAs would have been wrong to demand those passengers mask up whilst eating because it broke no rules.

    Did you perhaps fear you could catch something from those people because they ate for too long? What amount of time spent eating or drinking would have kept you safe? Is there only risk of transmission when a pax eats for more than, say, 10% of the flight? Below that time you are totally safe but above that you are at risk? Did you eat or drink at all during that flight Aaron, if so how much risk did you expose others to by doing so? Did any other passengers eat or drink at all and likewise how much did they place others at risk? What's the number, time or % wise, that it's safe to eat or drink on a flight Aaron? I'd love to see your science backed answer for that I truly would. As there isn't one and mask wearing on planes is ostensibly for passenger reassurance purposes we may be here a while.

    Where's the science that says the virus only looks for other hosts when it's current host isn't eating or drinking ( very civilised of the virus of course).

    Consider how ludicrous some of this sounds when it comes to when it's "safe" to not be wearing onboard and reasses just how far down the irrational rabbit hole society seems to have lept so quickly when it comes to mask mandating.

    Fyi I'm not anti mask I believe they should be worn when the science demonstrates a causal link to risk if not worn. I don't however believe in forced compliance to anything that is based on subjective, made up criteria. It's either safe full stop or not all. What is utter b*llocks is that it's safe to not wear a mask when eating or drinking but not otherwise ergo the risk that exists is so negligible that it bears little concern or risk to anyone. If it did then you wouldn't be allowed to fullstop bar some medically covered reason requiring documentation.

  20. Melville

    Good move. Other airlines need to do the same thing and keep all this rif raf off the planes! I travel a lot for business and am getting tired of this behavior.

  21. Jerry

    There are so many post pandemic words and phrases that have been created that frankly did not exist pre-pandemic. In a post pandemic world no one really knows what is considered abusive and what’s constructive any more.

  22. Danny

    Treat people the way you want to be treated….
    Being civil goes a long way…
    Being loud and nasty only gets you a similar response…

    And always use the magic words
    Please and thank you
    You would be surprised how much a difference it makes

  23. staradmiral

    @DenB,

    that's actually pretty annoying to the person trying to watch IFE. natural light really makes the screen hard to see. just close the blind and turn on your lamp please.

  24. MJS

    @nigel is obviously not an american and probably a racist since he used a coded word like gangbanger to signify people who should sit in the back. I fly business class often and unless I'm headed right from airport to a meeting, I'm always in a tshirt and warmup pants or shorts. Literally can't remember the last time I flew in a collared shirt. I'd rather sit with one of your so called gangbangers than pretentious Neanderthals.

  25. Sung

    While that is all good, is there a verifiable process? Or they just take the word from someone in the crew? I'm concerned how this can be abused.

  26. The Original Donna

    Bravo for Delta! Surprised by all the comments of perceived overreach by Delta employees. I can’t imagine a situation where I’d be remotely worried about this new policy. It clearly states “threats, slurs, obscene language directed at a Delta employee and/or destruction of Delta property.” If this is how you approach commercial air travel then you need to find a different mode of travel.

    The part of the equation that is often overlooked in...

    Bravo for Delta! Surprised by all the comments of perceived overreach by Delta employees. I can’t imagine a situation where I’d be remotely worried about this new policy. It clearly states “threats, slurs, obscene language directed at a Delta employee and/or destruction of Delta property.” If this is how you approach commercial air travel then you need to find a different mode of travel.

    The part of the equation that is often overlooked in these situations is the impact on other passengers. I don’t want to hear, see, or worse have my flight delayed because of your abuse.

  27. Aaron

    Good for Delta. I just flew on an AA flight where an entire family of at least 10 people scattered across various rows were clearly anti-mask, and used every opportunity they could to take their masks off, eat, drink, let the mask sit below their nose, etc. At least a few of them intentionally "munched" on various snacks so they could just keep their masks off for the ENTIRE flight.

    I can only imagine how...

    Good for Delta. I just flew on an AA flight where an entire family of at least 10 people scattered across various rows were clearly anti-mask, and used every opportunity they could to take their masks off, eat, drink, let the mask sit below their nose, etc. At least a few of them intentionally "munched" on various snacks so they could just keep their masks off for the ENTIRE flight.

    I can only imagine how frustrating this gets to be as a flight attendant, dealing with this on every single flight every single day, so I don't blame the FAs for not intervening with any of them.

  28. Raymond

    I agree that front line airline staff shall be treated respectfully. And a ban is deserved if the passenger made threats of personal harm.

    However there needs to be reviews, checks and balances in place.

    Remember the United 3411 Dr. Dao incident? Immediately after the incident, the CEO said the passenger was quote, "disruptive and belligerent".
    Of course the front line is going to report that. Their jobs needs to be on the...

    I agree that front line airline staff shall be treated respectfully. And a ban is deserved if the passenger made threats of personal harm.

    However there needs to be reviews, checks and balances in place.

    Remember the United 3411 Dr. Dao incident? Immediately after the incident, the CEO said the passenger was quote, "disruptive and belligerent".
    Of course the front line is going to report that. Their jobs needs to be on the line if they power trip and lie about these kind of reports.

  29. Anonymous

    Love it!! Having sat beside and witnessed a “Karen” in full “Karen” mode over her assigned seat, and wanting to be upgraded for free during height of pandemic last year. Flight attendant was patient and explained why seat could not be changed and the spacing etc. He also explained the difference in seat prices which almost sent Karen to an early grave. Who flies and does not know prices vary according to seats and other...

    Love it!! Having sat beside and witnessed a “Karen” in full “Karen” mode over her assigned seat, and wanting to be upgraded for free during height of pandemic last year. Flight attendant was patient and explained why seat could not be changed and the spacing etc. He also explained the difference in seat prices which almost sent Karen to an early grave. Who flies and does not know prices vary according to seats and other factors? All I can say good for Delta. Everyone keeps screaming about their rights. Well we all have them, just wondering why rude people think theirs are such more important.

  30. Joe1293

    Fantastic news
    Delta is the best

  31. Dan

    Amazing how upset people get when it's suggested there be a punishment for not being a civil human being. Are there obnoxious airline employees? Most certainly, I've been around plenty. But I don't let their inability to act like a normal person impact my ability to behave like a grown adult. If you can't handle a situation without raising your voice or having a tantrum, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised.

  32. HappilyRetired

    DenB, "checkmate"? That's the attitude that leads to these situations on the flights. You're trying to show your superiority, and challenging her to do something. Lose the smugness, and the entire flying experience will become better for everybody involved.

  33. Santastico

    Yes, give more power to FAs. They already make people's lives miserable when they feel like and now they have another reason to threat people. No, I am not advocating that anyone threat FAs bad but the problem is that it is always their version vs passengers one.

  34. Tony

    I *think* this is a good development -- certainly passenger behavior has gotten quite bad -- but it will need major guardrails to keep power tripping GAs/FAs far away from the lever

  35. Mike

    The problem with this new rule is that it’s very subjective. I can just see some agent documenting that a customer said “shit” or “hell”.

    There’s abuse and there’s anger. Physical abuse is one thing that should never be tolerated. Verbal abuse shouldn’t be tolerated either but there’s always a line that shouldn’t be crossed and that is determined by the agent; not the customer. And let’s face it, some agents are on power...

    The problem with this new rule is that it’s very subjective. I can just see some agent documenting that a customer said “shit” or “hell”.

    There’s abuse and there’s anger. Physical abuse is one thing that should never be tolerated. Verbal abuse shouldn’t be tolerated either but there’s always a line that shouldn’t be crossed and that is determined by the agent; not the customer. And let’s face it, some agents are on power trips and this is just another tool in their belt.

  36. Paul

    I always wonder how some people are raised @brian who believe customer service is there to take abuse. Adults control their behaviors and do not use others to vent their frustrations and anger. I feel for people who have to serve these kinds of customers. I have noticed that often, the people who actually hold power are the kindest and most understanding when things don't go their way. It is the middle manager trying to throw their weight around who whine the most.

  37. Saumya

    I think airlines make a big hype of their frequent flyer programs and attach all civil rules to it. Losing skymiles is not a solution since people will move to other airlines and bring up their status there which in turn means delta losing business from loyal customers (delta’s loss). Rude behavior (whether from passengers or crew members) should always be reported/documented and dealt in better way. No one talks about crew members bad behavior,...

    I think airlines make a big hype of their frequent flyer programs and attach all civil rules to it. Losing skymiles is not a solution since people will move to other airlines and bring up their status there which in turn means delta losing business from loyal customers (delta’s loss). Rude behavior (whether from passengers or crew members) should always be reported/documented and dealt in better way. No one talks about crew members bad behavior, lot of times I have seen being racist, under-trained, being rude . Two Example- 1) saw two air hostess of Emirates in flight from sfo to Dubai scolding passengers for asking them to get water, instead telling them to go back of the plane and fetching it themselves.
    2) delta red eye flight from Seattle to Detroit and crew members were really rude and different behavior to passengers who were upgraded to first class and shows different behavior to ones who had bought those tickets

  38. chaffchaff

    @DenB- There's a Karen on every flight. If you don't know who it is, it's you. (Hint: it's you. You don't always get your way in life.)

  39. chaff

    I watched total pro FA deal with an anti-masker in March, it was awesome. His whole family was unceremoniously hauled off the plane by Mexican federales and permanent-banned from Delta. No arguing, no drama, Delta for the win.

  40. DenB®

    Who decides?

    Sad to see so much support for this. Obviously, there is a problem. Everyone agrees that it is serious. But once again we have a really really bad solution. It's bad because it doesn't spell out, clearly, who decides.

    @Ben, you've flown enough that you've seen countless cases of grumpy airline employees in every role. I've seen passengers punished, when they deserved it and when they didn't. Lifetime ban? FA decides? There's no...

    Who decides?

    Sad to see so much support for this. Obviously, there is a problem. Everyone agrees that it is serious. But once again we have a really really bad solution. It's bad because it doesn't spell out, clearly, who decides.

    @Ben, you've flown enough that you've seen countless cases of grumpy airline employees in every role. I've seen passengers punished, when they deserved it and when they didn't. Lifetime ban? FA decides? There's no heirarchy in a US-based cabin, right? No hearing by impartial entity?

    I always keep my windowblind open on a daytime flight, read my book by natural light, look out the window. FA asked me to "close the blind so others can watch IFE". I asked "is that a crewmember instruction, which I know I must obey? If it is, I will obey it immediately." Checkmate. She stormed off and from that point on, she made a theatrical display of her disgust with me at every encounter. How much extra grumpiness would it take to escalate that and get me banned, all my SkyMiles cancelled?

    People welcome this appalling overreach? We all agree about the problem. But the existence of a problem doesn't justify an obviously fraught "solution". Delta should have announced a process, not a penalty. It's as American as Apple Pie to believe in the presumption of innocence.

  41. Ralph4878

    @Mike - could be...but I've seen some VERY entitled top tier flyers in the front of the plane being pretty s***** to FAs, too. Not to mention to check-in agents while checking in for their flights in their special lanes, to lounge workers when the guacamole is gone, etc...,. I think we, the flying public, oftentimes forget that we are in airline employees' places of work when we are flying. Work is stressful, and we...

    @Mike - could be...but I've seen some VERY entitled top tier flyers in the front of the plane being pretty s***** to FAs, too. Not to mention to check-in agents while checking in for their flights in their special lanes, to lounge workers when the guacamole is gone, etc...,. I think we, the flying public, oftentimes forget that we are in airline employees' places of work when we are flying. Work is stressful, and we sometimes - either intentionally or not - can make that work even more stressful.

  42. Harry

    Get on the plane and shut-up. Bring back the draft - everybody no exceptions for anything - and maybe teach people some respect for others, manners and get out of bed before noon. I'm dreaming of the late last century when flying, especially 1st, was a lot of fun. Oh, if you have a business, airlines too, they should be able to do whatever. They are not public, but a private AT RISK business. Don't like them, don't do business with them. Very simple.

  43. Mike

    I really doubt the problem passengers are the million milers with top status, maybe a few but not many. The problem passengers fly whatever is cheapest and if they do have a skymiles account I really don't think losing their 2700 miles will make anyone think twice before being a jackass in public.

  44. CG

    If you're not a disruptive passenger you don't have anything to worry about. I think during the pandemic the bar has been raised of what a disruptive passenger is.

  45. Nigel

    Part of the problem here is that flying is becoming too “common”. Institute a dress code for lounges and First Class and make the bus- riders take Spirit and things will get better. We need to bring back shame. If you can’t wear a collared shirt then you should have to sit in the back with the gang bangers and screaming children.

  46. Icarus

    @brian or is it “ Karen “ ? it’s more than a disagreement. Front line staff are abused , sworn at , sometimes physically assaulted , because they didn’t have the correct Covid test , arrived late at check in or were intoxicated. The flight was late for a reason. The airline didn’t intentionally plan to disrupt you.

  47. shoeguy

    Great move Delta. I do think people who disrupt flights with bad or threatening behavior that puts a crew and other passengers in danger or otherwise makes a normal flight require a diversion, should be banned for 10 years or potentially for life not just on that airline but across the board. If the offender needs to travel for a medical, family, or other legit emergency, let them apply for a temporary stay and force...

    Great move Delta. I do think people who disrupt flights with bad or threatening behavior that puts a crew and other passengers in danger or otherwise makes a normal flight require a diversion, should be banned for 10 years or potentially for life not just on that airline but across the board. If the offender needs to travel for a medical, family, or other legit emergency, let them apply for a temporary stay and force them to fly in a middle seat in the last row of the plane. These folks plainly (no pun intended) suck.

  48. Arthur Gimbal

    The issue for me isn't so much that disruptive passengers get banned from SkyMiles, but rather that the criteria are vague, subject to interpretation and don't seem to have any mechanism for recourse#, or appeal. That I find particularly offensive as it means that, as someone else mentioned, if an FA or other takes a dislike to you, or is having a bad day, the slightest trigger could mean the difference between being banned / unbanned.

  49. Ryan

    Its always fun how these articles draw a bunch of awkward weirdos defending one's ability to accost/assault a flight attendant.

    Really fighting the good fight out there guys!

  50. Steven L.

    It’s always interesting to see how people try to reconcile their belief that companies should be free to choose who to do business with and their belief that companies shouldn’t be allowed to not do business with them.

  51. Nikolaus

    Great decision, finally. Loosing status this way is more adequate than any other punishment. Black list for rude fellow-passengers, please!

  52. Will

    I hope Delta deploys some good checks and balances in this policy. Some of the wording seem so arbitrary. As a DM, I fly a ton with Delta before the pandemic and plan to do so when things ease up again. They have some very nice crew for US airlines and is generally very punctual. So much so that most ground and phone staff start to lose service recovery skills. I have had quite a...

    I hope Delta deploys some good checks and balances in this policy. Some of the wording seem so arbitrary. As a DM, I fly a ton with Delta before the pandemic and plan to do so when things ease up again. They have some very nice crew for US airlines and is generally very punctual. So much so that most ground and phone staff start to lose service recovery skills. I have had quite a few severe delays where they upended and completely disrupted my business travel schedule and even left me stranded overseas. The agents were very unhelpful and could care less while they hold the keys to solve the issue. I find interactions with their agents during those moments extremely extremely painful. While I always stayed civil, there are times they really really got under my skin.

    I completely agree that front-line employees need to be protected from extreme uncivil passengers, but if this leads to employee abuse of this protection clause or taking away customer rights, I will drop Delta without a second thought.

    Having said all of that, I must consider myself lucky. I have not encountered a Karen-like passenger over all my flying... On most early morning and late night flights, people are too busy sleeping and same goes for long haul flights...

  53. Kevin

    Can we just ban all uncivilized/rude people in general? Travel on an airplane should be fun and exciting but these days I just pray for none eventful ride covid time or not. If you are super polite to flight attendants, rarely are they ever rude to you even if they are in a bad mood. Treat others the way they want you to be treated. Be civilized and appreciative. Be considerate to your fellow passengers....

    Can we just ban all uncivilized/rude people in general? Travel on an airplane should be fun and exciting but these days I just pray for none eventful ride covid time or not. If you are super polite to flight attendants, rarely are they ever rude to you even if they are in a bad mood. Treat others the way they want you to be treated. Be civilized and appreciative. Be considerate to your fellow passengers. If you don’t have nice things to say, don’t say it. If you want to complain, fill out a form after the flight and send to corporate. There is no need to yell or scream.

  54. FlyingBear

    @JW That's funny. I don't expect flight attendants to recognize me as sort of the medallion member since there are just hundreds of thousands of them. I don't have any that kind of self-importance either. But you never wanna see a cold face or being asked for any unreasonable request when you did not do anything wrong, right? Unfortunately I have experienced both on Delta's flight. Race might be one factor but we don't need...

    @JW That's funny. I don't expect flight attendants to recognize me as sort of the medallion member since there are just hundreds of thousands of them. I don't have any that kind of self-importance either. But you never wanna see a cold face or being asked for any unreasonable request when you did not do anything wrong, right? Unfortunately I have experienced both on Delta's flight. Race might be one factor but we don't need to complicate the problem here. I don't deny the existence of Karens. But I believe this is rather a beginning of how airline companys greenlight (or strengthen) their employee to abuse their right when they just feel not liking some people, tranfer their gruesomeness to arbitrary passenger even if the passenger is found at no fault at all. You know how people here like to make things big to defend for themselves. The problem is simple now, the airline companies do not even want any passengers who might reasonably argue for their rights. You are just a good, to be collected and dropped. Medallions? That's just a joke.

  55. ChrisCan

    Any provisions to keep the CEO Bastian from placing his smelly foot into his mouth when he gets near a microphone?

  56. keitherson

    Not surprising. This happens on rideshare platforms like Uber, Lyft.

  57. JW

    @Brian they have their rights just like yours and its their right not to get yelled or abused at. If you want your sort of freedom, start running your own airline.

  58. Greta

    Good for Delta! I'm sick of disruptive Karens.

  59. Brian

    Scary society we live in. If you don’t agree with someone, god forbid you express your opinion, and someone takes offense to it. This to me seems a bridge too far.
    Most of what irritates people is brought on by the airline, namely delays, cancellations, and lack of information. Employees shouldn’t work in a customer facing role if they can’t take the heat.

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Nantastik

I am super frustrated that I am not able to reach DELTA Customer Service by 'phone: a five-hour hold time is predicted or via the Message Feature on Delta.com or in the Delta App. I cannot fix a reservation; I need a person. And, I promise to be kind when I ask for help.

Dean

Ive flown on many airlines, idiots and rude people are every where and generally should just stay home. Race, color or how you identify yourself was NOT mentioned in Delta's rules....if YOU added or implied any references about race or color? Your showing your own prejudice.. it's quite simple,,, Delta don't want rude, selfish or unruly people on the planes. THANK YOU DELTA, I hope other airlines also implement rules to keep customers and employees safe and enjoy the trip they want to ENJOY..

Dominic Yeo

I really pity Delta, but I do respect them for undertaking this task. Delta essentially is America Tier 2, 3 city airline. It was explained to me by a Singapore based joint Air France KLM/ Delta/ China Eastern employee, that for the ethnic minorities living in the second, third tier cities still believe that racism and stuff is still as it was, as if Martin Luther King Jr was just assasinated. It also doesn't help that local religious communities have been pushing puritanical beliefs, and they're coming into big cities and basically seeing blasphemy. Please don't view them as racist or cast judgements on them. This is part of their learning process as they embark their journey from noveau riche to sophistication. We all were previously like that too. Yes, even in America, no one is like the other.

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