Know what can prevent you from flying Delta? The Contract of Carriage tells you!

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Have you ever even looked at the Delta Contract of Carriage (COC) domestic or international? I bet most of us have not. Really we should as it does spell out just what is allowed and what Delta will do for us if things go wrong. If we really want to be careful we should, each time we buy a ticket, download the current COC as it changes now and then and the rules at the time of purchase govern the time you fly even if much later on.

There really are a bunch of interesting bits in the current domestic COC like the fact that if Delta is at fault, and your issue is overnight 10PM-6AM, Delta will provide a hotel room for you or a voucher up to $100 for travel. I often just ask for this anyway and use points so I can get stay credit for my hotel status and get more Delta dollars for travel.

But it seems as of late a bunch of folks are getting kicked off of airlines for all sorts of reasons. Delta has a rather LONG and interesting list of things that if you do them, can result in a super walk of shame off the jet. First the list then some thoughts:

1) When the passenger’s conduct is disorderly, abusive or violent;
2) When the passenger is barefoot;
3) When the passenger appears to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs;
4) When the passenger attempts to interfere with any member of the flight crew in the pursuit of his or her duties, or fails to obey the instruction of any member of the flight crew;
5) When the passenger has a contagious disease that may be transmissible to other passengers during the normal course of the flight;
6) When the passenger has a malodorous condition;
7) When the passenger is unable to sit in a seat with the seatbelt fastened;
8) When the passenger’s behavior may be hazardous to himself/herself, the crew, or other passengers;
9) When the passenger is seriously ill, and fails to provide a physician’s written permission to fly.
10) When the passenger’s conduct creates an unreasonable risk of offense or annoyance to other passengers;
11) When the passenger’s conduct creates a risk of harm or damage to the carrier’s aircraft and/or property, or the property of other passengers.

Wow. What a list. The first one is very clear but the second, well, have you seen how many times bare feet show up on Delta bulkhead walls? When it comes to number three, I have seen some who really should not have flown but it would be a hard call for an FA to make.

Four is an instant ejection worthy event but five, well, I have flown next to people so sick they gave me whatever they had. Not appreciated, but if someone is just nasty sick again I am going to move or consider asking the FA to enforce the COC and have them removed!

Oh man are six and seven ones that would instantly go viral on twitter. Can you imagine a person saying I was kicked off because I stink? Plus, the passenger of size issue is a regular event in the news this year.

For number eight I can see the “boys in blue” being called. Not a fun event to see or be a part of.

Nine is odd that it needs to be on it’s own apart from five or not combined with five. Yeah I get there can be all sorts of issues but once you go down the medical-ish list it can become never ending. Right?

Now we have 10. Oh boy can I have fun with this one. Just how do you define annoying? I don’t know about you but half the people I fly with are annoying 😉 Then again, can you even dream how much fun it would be to see a person on the 6 o’clock news explaining they were kicked off a flight because they were annoying? I would love to see that one.

The last one is to me one more case where the passenger risks being in hand cuffs and will be enjoying a free night in county lockup. Yikes!

Beyond the fun I am having with this list is the real possibility that some of these could end up leading to your loss of TSA Pre Check or be banned by the airline or other nasty stuff. Bottom line is be careful not to ever end up being tossed off a jet!

Also, if you have never taken the time to read the COC, it is free to access via Gogo Internet on all Delta equipped flights so why not take a few minutes to read it. I think you will find it interesting and the information inside is good for us to know! – René


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  1. It’s obviously written to give Delta plenty of room to maneuver. The problem, at least in my mind, is the fact that many of Delta’s flight attendants aren’t probably trained enough in some of these areas — particularly the more subjective ones — to make the decision to remove the passenger. Plus, I always thought it was the captain — not the flight attendants — who made the final decision regarding removing a passenger from the aircraft. What is even more troubling is there is little recourse one has if Delta for whatever reason decides to invoke a provision and eject you from the seat. At best, they nicely remove you and reschedule you to a later flight. At worst, they refund you and prohibit you from ever flying Delta again.

  2. Following up, I’ve been on flights where flight attendants ordered me to keep the window shade up during the flight. I have light sensitivity and need it down, if it’s sunny outside. Just how far one could push this before getting removed is unknown, especially with overworked, poorly trained and stressed out flight attendants.

  3. I’m not a fan of DL but I have no issue with those terms. Your “barefoot” issue is typically executed not with someone taking off their shoes–since a FA can ask them to put them back on if they smell or otherwise think that is a problem–but for the West Virginia/hippie passenger who tries to board barefoot and without shoes.

    Everything else seems quite reasonable to me. If you stink, that’s not a bad reason to ask you to exit the aircraft. I’m not responsible for having to suffer because you don’t understand good personal hygiene in a modern free society. If you’re too large to secure yourself with a seatbelt, that is a safety issue for both yourself and others, and I know that airlines have steps to preclude them from violating laws about this issue. But having this term isn’t problematic; it’s more a factor of how that would be applied. Just as with the law, thee terms are as much about how they are applied as they are about how they are written.

  4. I wish the airlines would at least offer a medical mask to people who are sneezing, sniffling and coughing. If they don’t have the decency to wear it, they could offer masks to the people around them.

    I got sick of arriving at my destination only to come down with a cold I caught from a nearby passenger. Now I always carry masks, (Walmart Pharmacy sells ten-packs) and I wear one if someone around me has an obvious cold. It looks stupid, but I never get sick while traveling now, so I don’t care.

  5. FNT makes a good point, but also reminds me of something I’ve been meaning to ask: What is it with the “keep shades up during take off? ” Does the pilot need to look over his or her shoulder to check the blind spot?!

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