Mole Inside Delta Shares Private Itinerary Information With Gossip Site

Gossip site TMZ has a mole at Delta who shares itinerary information of famous passengers (HT: Paul H.)

According to the New Yorker:

At least one employee of Delta Airlines supplies TMZ with the names and itineraries of celebrity passengers travelling through Los Angeles and New York.

In an e-mail dated January 29, 2014, a TMZ manager informed her colleagues that the star of an ABC drama had been spotted sitting in first class, in seat 2A, on Delta Flight 1061, from Orlando to Los Angeles, when his plane was rerouted to Dallas—the result of a bomb threat issued on Twitter.

Such information helps TMZ’s crew of a dozen or so paparazzi know when and where to “drop in on” a celebrity who is transiting through an airport. One day’s list, from June, 2010, included the flight details for Robert Redford and Jack Kevorkian; another one, two months later, had the itineraries of Julius Erving, Kathy Ireland, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner.

“It’s not an accident the guy with a camera is waiting at the Delta check-in counter at 8 A.M.,” a former TMZ employee wrote, anonymously, on Defamer, a Hollywood site owned by Gawker.

(Line breaks added)

There’s speculation that it was a Delta Elite Services Porsche driver selling the information.

Clearly the individual is risking their job, and may even be risking criminal charges. The next time you’re picked up on the tarmac, and paparazzi snap your photo, you’ll know that:

  1. You’re really famous.

  2. Delta sold you out.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. You don’t need to so accusingly state that “2. Delta sold you out”. Blaming actions of an employee on the company itself is not appropriate, unless you have other evidence showing that it was Delta that did this. We all know you dislike Delta but this goes too far.

  2. I agree this has exactly 0.0% to do with delta. If you bothered to read the entire article you would see that it is actually “Harold at Delta, Leon at Baggage service, Fred at hudson news, Lyle at Fruit and nut stand.” It starts with Delta and moves through the entire airport food chain. Personally, I liked that the fruit and nut stand guy gets in on the action.

  3. Of course Delta bears some responsibility. These customers pay a lot of money for privacy and security, and Delta has a duty to hire trustworthy individuals, and to figure out who is not trustworthy and fire them. Delta is not Hudson News or the fruit and nut stand.

  4. b and sice have zero sense of humour and zero ability to suss out sarcasm or hyperbole. i weep for their children, as they will be raised to be idiots.

  5. Haters gonna hate – oh well. If the LA county sheriff can’t hire _police officers_ who don’t break the law for TMZ’s cash please tell me how Delta has a chance? Every big company has bad apples – baggage handlers stealing your stuff and/or muling cocaine for the cartel, or commodities traders rigging the LIBOR. Finally, based on my extensive research on there’s a guy on TMZ’s payroll who works for American as well. Oddly enough fewer United flights, but I always figured it was because American had better NY-LAX service?

  6. @abby – I took this blog more seriously than I do The Onion. Had I realized this was purely a satirical site I wouldn’t waste as much time with it. If Gary hopes to continue to be taken seriously by mainstream media outlets he’d better be careful directly accusing a company like this. Outlets are clear when they show something satirical, and if they’re not they’re skewered for it.

    BTW, classy move calling my kids idiots.

  7. @b ‘haters gonna hate’. what does that even mean in this context. answer: nothing- it’s nonsensical. 2006 called, it’s wants its cliche back, along with your mom jeans.

    @sice… lighten up, francis. if you’re not clever enough to understand sarcasm and hyperbole, it’s not Gary’s fault/problem. he can be credible (well, except related to AA! lol) without being a robot catering to dim individuals.

    as to your kids… i did say i weep for them…

  8. @abby – unfortunately, when it comes to anything Gary posts involving Delta, Poe’s law applies. And yes, it is largely his fault.

  9. @abby +1 You actually stole the line I was thinking…lighten up Francis! Unfortunately I just blew red wine through my nose as I busted a gut reading your post!

  10. Personally I don’t care where Jack Kevorkian, Robert Redford, etc. fly. I don’t read rag mags and I don’t watch TMZ. If you really want to place blame, put it on the celebrity obsessed in our country because they are the ones who pay for this information.

  11. Probably, these “VIPs” or their minions make the calls to get as much ‘face time’ as possible in our Celebrity crazed society.

    TMZ moments!


    As for the Delta Elite Transfer Services – I would totally pass on it (not that it would ever be offered to me). I consider my ability to negotiate the mass of humanity and assorted carry-ons littering the congested terminal aisles partof my daily cardio conditioning!

  12. All that matters to me is that I stay up to date on Kim & Kanye the most extradipnary celebrities of today
    I can’t go a single day without reading something about these incredible American Icons and humanitarians
    Unfortunately they may not fly Delta

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