Delta Employee Caught on Video Cursing at Customer

Delta is apologizing after one of their employees in Portland was caught on video telling a customer, “You can take my f’ing picture if you want to, a-hole.”

The passenger’s flight from Honolulu to Portland — operated by Delta once a week on Saturdays — was “delayed twice on February 11” before they moved him to a Hawaiian Airlines flight. However his bags were sent separately on Delta.

He went to Delta’s baggage claim office and that’s when the altercation ensued.

Delta has issued a statement,

The actions displayed by this employee do not in any way reflect the standard of customer service and professionalism we expect from our employees. This conduct is unacceptable and we have reached out directly to the customer and apologized.

My first reaction in seeing the video above was that we don’t know what was said in the exchange before the video starts including and especially what the passenger said (although the employee’s response is clearly inappropriate regardless).

It turns out however that the passenger posted more and longer video to their Facebook page. The baggage agent argues that because he flew Hawaiian he has to talk to Hawaiian and cannot be helped by Delta. (There’s more video context on Facebook as well.)

Delta offered the man a $200 voucher. (That seems very weak to me.) They also delivered his luggage. And they report that the employee “has been suspended.”

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. Notice he utters to his co-workers “Just get the cops”. Airline employee modus operandus since September 11th. You lose your rights when you walk in that airline terminal!

  2. If labor unions prevent Delta from firing this guy, then there is no hope of airlines ever providing good customer service in this country.

  3. What we do know is that the person who uploaded the video to YouTube (from which Google appends ads around it) should be imprisoned for a criminal violation. You cannot publicly shame anyone by putting their life in danger.

    Gary is helping this…..Feds are coming for ya!

  4. How many of you would like to be videotaped at work by a person causing you trouble? This video clip starts far too late for us to judge what happened.

  5. @Andrew – I don’t work in a customer facing role, and way to blame the victim (customer)

    @CF – the customer is a PhD candidate in electrical engineering, and regardless it is never appropriate to interact with anybody in this fashion

  6. Be sure to get video of bullying Trumpanzees so their neighbors know to avoid them and they get stared at everywhere they go, confirming the Deep State at work.

    They still play video on European news networks of the preening hideously fat thugs at the Trump Nazi rallies beating college students (on their own campus) and punching out one protesting college student. They are all outraged these baboons were never prosecuted as they would have done real prison time in the civilized countries, but hick racist rednecks in the South wouldn’t even prosecute. This is your country, held in the greatest disdain by the entire rest of the civilized world because of how redneck baboons took over almost without challenge and without the shaming they would have suffered everywhere they turned in modern nations.

  7. Stop. Just Stop.

    The poor guy is not wrong… just wrong that he let his frustration get out.

    The rule is: If you have a baggage problem, then you file a claim on the last carrier on which you flew.

    That’s all.

    You can sympathize with the passenger, vilify the airlines, unions or employees… but the guy was just following the rules by which the airlines function.

  8. Actually, I would have liked to see a video of the police arriving, slapping the shite out of the tool taking the video and then watch ICE deport his sorry arse. Now THAT would be a good story.

  9. @J.C. — it would be a sad story. Again, the “tool” taking the video is a PhD candidate in engineering, and almost surely has a legal presence in the country.

    @Greg — the content you post is routinely remarkable, and I say the following with complete sincerity. I hope you’re able to get the help you need.

  10. @Jason: Does it hurt when you think? Just because someone is a PhD candidate, or actual PhD, or even president doesn’t mean they can’t be a scumbag. Just look at yourself.

  11. @J.C. — your verbiage changed. Do you want to talk about “tools” (stupid) or “scumbags” (unlikable).

    All sorts of people can be unlikable, sure. No engineering PhD candidate can be stupid in the context of an interaction with airport personnel (GED).

  12. @Jason: You should focus on that extra chromosome you carry. They say Clinton had an incredibly high IQ, but he was an idiot. Any PhD candidate can do stupid things. Look at the things you have done.

  13. @J.C. — pray tell, what have I done. I reckon you’ve got the wrong person as I don’t carry an “extra chromosome” and you have unveiled your fundamentally rotten nature with that comment.

  14. Notice how we don’t see on film what the CUSTOMER said to the agents (human beings) before filming their response? What lead up to this? The CUSTOMER is NOT always right. Video may show that moment, but not what lead to them to be on the phone calling for police backup before the camera focuses on the AGENT. I don’t trust this type of media. Furthermore, it is NOT legal to film airline employees without their permission. Permission given with a twist. I applaud …. the camera and childlike “going to film you, and get me your supervisor” is like menfants in kindergarten.

  15. The customer is persistent, but calm. Not yelling, cursing, or anything like that. I guess he could have been prior to the video, but it’s not very likely he went from menace to calm in a minute.

    Yes, the proper procedure is to file a claim with the last carrier traveled on. But can the rep think outside the box for a second – if the guy was moved to Hawaiian after he checked his bag, and the bag didn’t come on his flight, isn’t it reasonable to think that the bag might still be with Delta. And Delta probably has more tools to find bags in its posession than Hawaiian does. And unless Delta uses a completely different baggage tracing system then every other airline, he’s just lying about not being able to take a claim for the guy.

    Of course, even if the customer is being a total jerk, you really need to hold yourself back from cursing him out. I agree with the commentor above that said employees are way too quick to just call the cops. Learn how to solve a problem yourself.

  16. He shouldn’t have been suspended he’s just like the uncaring
    greedy hostile evil Delta management .Birds of a feather
    Management just haven’t been caught on video saying what the agent said
    I would fly Spirit before I would fly Delta and I despise them both
    Thank god for Alaska they have empathetic caring individuals that typically treat customers with respect and gratitude
    When I am forced I use American And on the very rare occasion United.
    I book Southwest when I give away their seats on points to family and friends
    Delta Blows in every regard
    When I see what they want for award redemption I simply laugh but they are the saddest excuse for an airline I’ve seen in my lifetime and only people that want to get ripped off and or don’t care deserve to fly them with their overall value proposition
    I feel sorry for the customer that the airline didn’t make an effort to help the customer
    Delta can take that voucher and put it right in place where that agent stated to the customer 🙂

  17. The passenger had already been ping-ponged between the useless Delta agents and the useless Hawaiian agents. It does turn out that DL COULD have helped the pax if they had bothered to pull up the tag number in the system, because they had the bag. Even if it wasn’t their usual practice to do so, and technically it was Hawaiian’s responsibility to initiate the inquiry even if DL had actually flown the bag (which it had), EITHER airline could have found the bag and helpfully instructed the passenger. Instead, both tried to pass the buck.

    I’m more upset that they threatened to call the cops on the guy for being politely persistent. This is now the lazy airline employee dodge. Don’t bother me or I will get the police. Glad he filmed the encounter, because it shows that he was in no way abusive to these poor excuses for employees. Notice that the old man was already laying the groundwork by saying that the customer, who was totally calm on the video, was “out of control”. Apparently, questioning the poor advice from DL constitutes being “out of control” sufficient to warrant ejection from the airport in this pathetic employee’s view.

  18. Both parties are being children here. Yes the agent is a dick. There’s no getting around that, but he’s also not wrong.

    If the passenger was transferred to Hawaiian and then told to see the reps at the Hawaiian desk why didn’t he just go there? He’s being calm but he KNOWS he’s being an ass too. He’s trying to get a rise out of the guy and that’s just what he got. I hope the cops dealt with him, though it should never have gotten there. My guess is there was a line at the Hawaiian desk and he didn’t wanna wait.

    It doesn’t always make sense but there’s one carrier who HAS to deal with you, in this case it wasn’t DL.

    I flew to Europe purely on UA then flew a simple MUC-LIS on LH. When my bag no showed it was LH who was on the hook. Doesn’t matter who flew the longest flight, or who started the trip, just the final flight.

  19. This guy was probably being a huge dick to the Delta guy to get it started. Sure the airline agent lost control but this pax was baiting the hell out of him. Indians are the worst.

  20. @Jasontwit: My position on Trump is that of 99% of the rest of the world. There’s likely not a more hated man in world history. Only in the US where fat Trumpanzees think they can bully the media and the rest of us do we not shame his moronic baboons like you into the gutter.

    Oh, and by the way: Nothing could make me prouder than to have the disdain of you. It makes me proud to be an American, one of the vast majority who hate Trump.

  21. Gene_boy says “What we do know is that the person who uploaded the video to YouTube should be imprisoned for a criminal violation. You cannot publicly shame anyone by putting their life in danger.”

    R Says ” Furthermore, it is NOT legal to film airline employees without their permission. ”

    I am continually amazed by the number of comments on this site that somehow think using a video camera or still camera at the airport is somehow a crime or banned.

    The basic rule in the United States is that if you have the right to be where you are, then you have the right to take video of what you see. It’s embedded in the first amendment to our constitution: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of … the press…” (I’ve included only the relevant part.) The first amendment was incorporated against the states via the fourteenth amendment. And the Supreme Court has ruled that information gathering via recording video is a press freedom. And further that the press is not limited to just “professional reporters”.

    Now, as we know, many of the airlines have rules about it. But breaking those rules are not technically crimes. Refusing to stop recording when asked might be, or staying there after you have been asked to leave might be, but the taking of the video itself is likely just a violation of your contract with the airline.

    I should note that you also have to be careful about wire-tapping laws. While it’s OK to capture video, there are tighter restrictions on capturing audio in most places. It’s my understanding that capturing the conversation of others is generally a problem. In many states capturing a conversation you are a party to is not a problem. But in some states you must have the permission of everyone in the conversation. So I would argue against any surreptitious recording.

    So, record video openly and often. And publish!

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