Delta Airlines should be shut down


Heather Gann, Staff Columnist

Delta Airlines is yet again facing severe legal repercussions after unloading jet fuel over the city of Los Angeles, which resulted in the injury of several teachers and children during recess at local schools. The practice of unloading fuel is a common one with airlines. It is done so their weight is lowered enough for them to land safely. Common practice, however, is to release the fuel over an ocean so as not to harm people. This particular Delta flight had to make an emergency landing, which caused them to release fuel early. Some people may defend Delta because, after all, it was a difficult situation and the pilot had to make a judgement call. However, this is the first of many careless occurrences under Delta’s watch. 

Two years ago, in the summer of 2017, Delta oversold a flight and then attempted to force two parents to give up a seat they had already purchased for their 2-year-old son who was sitting in it. The parents had originally purchased the ticket for their teenage son, but decided to send him home early so that they could give their 2-year-old a seat to himself. After it became apparent that there were not enough seats on the plane for people who had bought tickets, Delta employees began to threaten the Schear family, saying that if they did not give up their seats, they would be forced off the plane. After some resistance, the father, Brian, agreed that they could indeed kick him off the plane. The air attendant then responded by saying that refusing to comply with what they were asking for was a federal offense and could get them thrown in prison and that their kids would go into foster care. They threatened this in front of their children, who of course were terrified. The father responded with outrage. Eventually, the family was forced to unboard, get their own hotel room and pay for another plane ticket for the next day. This all happened at midnight on the day they had to leave, as they had been trying to catch a red-eye flight. After videos of the incident went viral online, Delta released an apology statement saying that they were “sorry for the unfortunate experience.” 

It is undetermined whether or not the family was contacted or reimbursed for their troubles. Reading these two news stories, it is clear to me that Delta does not care about its customers or people in general. They have had many of these incidents, and after every one, they release a flimsy, general apology and do nothing to ensure the same thing won’t happen again. Even watching comedy specials on Netflix, I have heard at least three comedians describing a terrible experience they had with the airline. If a restaurant in town treated its customers this terribly and had such an infamously bad reputation, it would go out of business, because there are always better places to eat – so we shouldn’t tolerate something as expensive as air travel being this terrible. There are always better companies to fly with.