Delta Air Lines has robustly defended itself and its staff against criticism levelled by American right-wing commentator, Ann Coulter. In a statement to media, the Atlanta-based airline described Coulter’s actions as “unnecessary and unacceptable.” The dispute started on July 15th when Coulter was forced to move from her pre-assigned seat on Delta flight DL2852.
What started out as a genuine customer service issue soon degenerated into a war of words between the two sides. Delta has taken the unusual decision to release a lot of details surrounding the incident and explaining its perspective.
Coulter was booked to fly on a Delta Airbus A319 from New York La Guardia to West Palm Beach. She had pre-booked an emergency exit seat in row 15 and had paid $30 for the privilege. But this is when things get a little strange.
According to Delta, Coulter originally booked a window seat (15F) but within 24 hours of departure, she changed that seat assignment to 15D – an aisle seat. However, when Coulter boarded the flight, Delta employees accidentally moved her back to a window seat (15A). Delta says this was a mistake but flight attendants were trying to accommodate other passengers with specific seating requests.
Apparently, there was ‘confusion’ over the seat assignments and a flight attendant had to step in to mediate a dispute between Coulter and other passengers. All seemed well – the flight took off on time and even landed nearly 30 minutes early. Drama averted you might think.
But Coulter wasn’t happy with the way the incident had been handled and took to Twitter in a tirade against Delta, its employees and even fellow passengers. She even started to take photos of passengers sat on the plane and share them with her 1.6 million followers – in contravention of Delta’s conditions of carriage.
If @Delta employees were not so HONORABLE & TRUSTWORTHY, I would have said this is an outright lie. Facts are not “insults.” https://t.co/w3fpEmu3z8
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 17, 2017
If you thought it was about $30, @Delta, why didn’t you give this woman $30 and let me stay in my PRE-BOOKED, ASSIGNED seat? pic.twitter.com/sR1g8tuRWX
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) July 17, 2017
The airline has been quick to apologise for the inconvenience caused to Coulter but isn’t holding back in its criticism of her actions:
“We are sorry that the customer did not receive the seat she reserved and paid for. 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.”
The statement continued: “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. Delta expects mutual civility throughout the entire travel experience.”
@AnnCoulter Additionally, your insults about our other customers and employees are unacceptable and unnecessary.
— Delta (@Delta) July 16, 2017
The airline has said it has refunded the $30 fee, Coulter paid to pre-select her seat. Delta said they made several attempts to reach out to Coulter but didn’t hear back from her until Sunday evening.
Coulter is a popular right-wing commentator and the author of ‘¡Adios, America!’. She describes the book as “exposing the raft of social and economic consequences emerging from a reluctance to address immigration, for fear of character assassination.” As well as her many followers on Twitter, Coulter’s Facebook page is also liked by over 685,000 people.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.
Why does Ann Coulter even need to fly ?
Is her broomstick still being serviced in the workshop ?