A high profile Delta Air Lines flight attendant has left the carrier after posting a series of controversial Tweets and other social media posts referencing race and the Black Lives Matter movement. In a statement, the Atlanta-based airline confirmed Kevin Jennings was no longer an employee but a spokesperson refused to disclose whether Jennings had been fired or whether she quit or took a voluntary early-out.
In recent years, Jennings has fronted a number of campaigns for Delta, representing the brand at various events and becoming a cheerleader for an internal anti-unionization drive. She is also the recipient of Delta’s prestigious Chairman’s Club Award which awards employees that “embody Delta values”.
Both the IAM and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) are campaigning to unionize Delta’s flight attendant workforce. AFA has resolved to drive out systemic racism within its own organization as well as throughout the aviation industry.
Going by the name of @KevinTheFlyGirl on Twitter, the veteran flight attendant has posted a number of controversial and apparently racist Tweets over the last few years. Many of the offending posts have since been removed but screenshots taken by campaigners remain.
In response to a Tweet which read: “Black lives only matter to black people when a white person kills one of them,” Jennings replied, “This is the part I agree with an don’t understand”.
In another Tweet from 2017 in response to NFL players taking the knee, Jennings allegedly wrote: “Are we going to #takeaknee that the Olympic Games? How embarrassing that notion is. Grow up people.”
Other posts and Tweets also seemed to violate Delta’s code of conduct and values but insiders claim Jennings’ behavior was known but tolerated by Delta managers. After a public backlash, Delta appears to have finally acted.
“I want to make it clear that Delta’s workplace must remain safe and welcoming for all Delta people. We will not tolerate racist, bigoted or hateful acts or statements in our workspaces or directed at our people,” Delta chief executive Ed Bastian told staff in a two-page memo addressing race issues and the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday.
“This includes racial and other bigoted, hateful and offensive comments on social media by Delta people, which hurts our culture and our people,” the memo continued.
Bastian did not address the Jennings controversy directly but a Delta spokesperson said the airline has “zero tolerance for racism, bigotry and hateful acts. The employee no longer works at Delta.”
Jennings has declined to offer a statement.
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 used by some of the biggest names in journalism.