Ann Coulter went on a tweetstorm when Delta forced her to change seats on a flight from New York to Florida.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 15, 2017
She implied that she had lost her extra legroom seat she had pre-assigned. That wasn’t true. It turns out that Delta forced her to move from an exit row aisle to an exit row window.
The airline said they would refund her $30 seat selection fee, and criticized her for the tweetstorm where she criticized Delta employees for moving her without explanation and she shared a photo of the passenger sitting in the seat she had reserved.
@AnnCoulter Additionally, your insults about our other customers and employees are unacceptable and unnecessary.
— Delta (@Delta) July 16, 2017
However it appears that Delta employees didn’t give her a clear explanation of what happened. And Delta did screw up. Refunding her $30 seat selection fee isn’t actually compensation for failing to deliver what was promised (that they claim never to promise anything — even what they take payment for — notwithstanding).
Here’s what Delta now says happened,
Coulter originally booked seat 15F, which is located by the window in an exit row, however; within 24 hours of the flight’s departure, the customer changed to seat 15D, which is by the aisle. At the time of boarding, Delta inadvertently moved Coulter to 15A, a window seat, when working to accommodate several passengers with seating requests.
Delta says they bumped Coulter when trying to accommodate another passenger. Whenever an agent has tried to keep passengers together when I’ve been flying, I’ve been asked whether I’m willing to move. Here the agent either simply made the move, privileging another passenger over Coulter, or literally did make the change ‘inadvertently’ which is also Delta screwing up.
It took days of tweetstorms to get Delta to admit they were at fault, the customer did take it on the chin, and they’ve issued a press release criticizing the customer and instead of offering compensation only offering to refund the cost of a seat selection they didn’t honor.
More importantly, we are disappointed that the customer has chosen to publicly attack our employees and other customers by posting derogatory and slanderous comments and photos in social media. Her actions are unnecessary and unacceptable.
Each of our employees is charged with treating each other as well as our customers with dignity and respect. And we hold each other accountable when that does not happen.
Except — having reviewed the tweets — Coulter may have been over the top but there’s nothing even close to ‘slanderous’. Delta’s actions were unnecessary and unacceptable, even if Coulter’s also were.
And contra Delta’s claim that employees are held accountable for treating customers with dignity and respect, they apparently failed to offer an explanation for bumping the passenger from her seat.
I am not a fan of Coulter. I think her tweetstorm was disproportionate to what happened on her flight. But Delta screwed up and fails to own that criticizing their customer instead.