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No, Delta is NOT video taping 1st class passengers on their jets. But should they?

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


video cams on Delta Connection Shuttle America flights (1)
Photo credit @GoldboxATL on twitter

What you are looking at is a video recorder on a Delta partner Shuttle America jet. @GoldboxATL on twitter posted the above photo and gave me permission to us it and the one below:

video cams on Delta Connection Shuttle America flights (2)
Photo credit @GoldboxATL on twitter

Delta and partner Shuttle America are not getting along all that well and I posted yesterday about my less than outstanding recent trip with this Delta connection partner, but the idea of having video recordings of me and the cabin is not something I personally would be thrilled about. So I reached out to Delta for some more information about these video units. A company representative told me that:

“Shuttle America says those [cameras] are relics that have no functionality. Apparently, there was a short-lived security program in 2002-03 where RJET got some federal grant money to test having cameras on aircraft. It basically never went anywhere and the program ended. The cameras have been out of service since then and S5 [Shuttle America] says there are only a few of these aircraft with these decommissioned cameras off them – and they’re all on EMB145s. They won’t be removed since they’re slated for retirement anyway.” – Delta CORP

So mystery solved and I am truly happy this is NOT something new and something we are going to see on more Delta and Delta “painted” partner jets.

But since we are now talking about this topic I would love some of your input. After all, I often take photos on Delta jets of the cabin and sometimes folks get in the shots. Same thing goes for Sky Club reviews and other parts of the airport, that is, folks end up in the photos. I often, when I see children in the shots, blur their faces just because. But all these folks are in public and I understand I may end up on someone’s twitter or Instagram page if I am in public as well. This is 2015 after all.

Now back to the non-functioning Delta connection video units. Let’s talk about these a bit. This test was well over 10 years ago. Back then we did not see passenger “rage” like we do today. Perhaps it would be a good thing to see video cameras on jets. Would that not, just perhaps, prevent some of the crazy things we see passengers doing on-board today if they knew they were being filmed while on-board?

But then there is the other half of the coin, that is, how would Delta, again if they did this (they are NOT), use the video files later on? Would they use them to check up on flight attendants and see how the service was. What if someone complained about an event on-board for compensation, could Delta then check the tape to see what really happened? When you think about the new C+ fare class I sure could see Delta using video to check if the service by the cabin crew was up to what it should be. So video I think would not be popular with those who work on Delta jets from this stand point.

Anyway, all of this is just an interesting point of discussion as the cameras clearly are VERY old and not something new and Delta is not adding them to jets. Still, I would love your input on what you think about the whole idea? – René

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

8 Comments

  1. No thanks!

    I could see the video being subpoenaed like text messages or your 911 tracking on a phone.

  2. @goldboxATL Reply

    Great photos!

    Crazy to think they have been sitting on the plane for 10 years post the “Program” and they never took the time to remove.

  3. Well, Emirates have cameras on their First Class cabins, and they do use them.

  4. Hmm. I am surprised there aren’t more cameras to be honest. While the crew might not like it, lots of jobs involve being videotaped. Similar to police bodycams, it would help clear up issues of conflict between crew and passengers and really offer protection to both. From a safety standpoint, it could be very useful. It would help customer service and passenger management to analyze how people behave and react to announcements, directives, etc.
    And of course it shouldn’t matter which cabin; film them all.

    Cheers,
    m

  5. Most other forms of transportation have cameras monitoring passengers. Ex. City busses, Coach busses, Taxis, Trains, etc

    Why not airplanes? I really don’t see why they are any different?

  6. Since the camera is right underneath the overhead storage, what would stop someone (crew or passenger) from putting a piece of black tape over the lens? They should have installed it over the aisle.

  7. Who cares? You’re taped on every train in NY, every entrance at the airport, every GATE at the airport, every security checkpoint at the airport. Big whoop.

  8. Just as an FYI (in case people are curious) . . .

    Aside from whether it affects how people “feel” about the airline, it’s perfectly legal in the US for anyone to capture video recordings (without sound) of anyone else in public. When you’re in public, you don’t have what the law considers “an expectation of privacy”.

    For sound recordings, some states’ wiretapping laws require that both parties “consent” to the sound recording, but a transportation provider could adhesively bury such consent in its Conditions of Carriage.

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