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After Latest Delta Passenger Removed by Cops Incident – a New Policy Needs to Be Implemented!

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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.

From Daily News


This is getting ridiculous as we see reported on the (with a HT to VFTW). Once again we have a passenger who, reportedly had an issue about overhead space (sounds familiar) and was removed from a Delta jet by police officers. Here are the clips from Twitter btw.

Now to be clear I hold nothing against Delta for either this incident or the one where the UofM professor was dragged off a Delta jet last year. And, I also think the cops were great both times. So that is not what this is about. It is about how things like this should go down from now on.

The airlines are rightly concerned about videos and the impact on others. If you have a passenger who refuses to move you have to “drag” or in some other way get them off the jet. There is then risk to others.

While my idea will seriously impact and possibly delay or result in a canceled flight, I think from now on under these conditions, Delta (and the other airlines) should deplane everyone and THEN deal with the non-compliant passenger(s). This will do a number of things.


Delta always says safety is their number one priority. OK show this even here. Get us out of harms way before the cops do what they must.


If everyone is getting off then the non-compliant passenger sees it is hopeless to keep fighting and may be more ready to get off on their own.

No video

Let’s face it less video on You Tube and Twitter is good for the airlines. If everyone gets off there is less risk for the above video to end up on the news and more!

What do you think? Considering this is becoming an all to frequent occurrence, do you think it is wise (if possible) for the airlines to simply have everyone exit when a passenger refuses to get off on their own? You tell me! – René


Should Delta deplane everyone before cops remove a passenger?

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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.

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.


  1. Don in ATL Reply

    If the cops are going to beat the crap out of someone, there should be witnesses. Otherwise we have become a fascist police state! Police left unwatched, DO become inhumaneky vicious, and that simply is not right, unless the initial infraction was just as vicious.

  2. Agree with Don.. Need to be witnesses. And I have a problem with your premise that you have no issue with Delta. It should not have come to this and that could be deltas fault- hard to know as we don’t have all the facts but this could/should have been diffused.

  3. I wish congress would create a law that says non-compliant passengers who have to be removed would have to pay a fine to every other passenger $10,000 for the inconvenience.

  4. Don in ATL Reply

    Beside needing withnesses, how about Delta enforcing these crew members’ instructions: “Put your larger items in the overhead bin, and your smaller items on the floor under the seat in front of you.” People are pigs in the way they put stuff in the overhead bins. Once their stuff is in, they don’t give a damn about the person further down the line. Occasionally, (very occasionally), I will see a crew member trying to straighten out overhead space, putting stuff in more efficiently, or making room for a few extra bags, but by far, most put a blind eye to how inefficiently people put their luggage in the overheads — and definitely a blind eye to not following the above instructions they give upon boarding. We don’t really know what happened before this video was shot. I don’t have any sympathy for this guy if he indeed threw other people’s stuff on the floor. But think about this: this whole situation COULD HAVE BEEN AVERTED if Delta crew members enforced the rule above, which they announce on all flights many times during boarding. (I am a Diamond Medallion and am usually one of the first to board, but on tight connections, I too worry about overhead space. and OVERHEAD SPACE PIGS definitely anger me too!)

  5. Totally agree with Don in ATL and Dean. These videos are a public good. If there is an action by government officials that they are unhappy about being publicly witnessed, it’s likely something they should not be doing in the first place. These videos help restrain unnecessary or illegal overreach.

  6. I think this should be an escalation process. Make every effort to remove the offender peacefully with passengers in place. Next, inform the entire plane that if the offender does not leave peacefully the entire plane will have to be emptied. Empty the plane. Call the cops.

  7. I think airlines created some of the problem of limited overhead space issues when they decided to start charging fees for checked luggage in addition to the current trend of squeezing more seats into the same size air-frame.

  8. OMG. What about the concept of personal responsibility???

    If there is a disruptive passenger, then that is the fault of the passenger, not other passengers, the airline, or the police.

    No, we don’t need Congress to get involved and enact more laws or regulations. No, we don’t need the airlines to change their policies. No, we don’t need to evacuate a plane and cause more disruption for law/rule abiding passengers.

  9. Why is evacuating a plane relinquishing our rights as civilian witnesses? Flight attendants and pilots can remain aboard while the passenger is dealt with. And honestly, this is another opportunity for police body cams.

  10. AZDeltaflyer Reply

    All police officers, flight attendants, gate agents and pilots should be trained and evaluated for de-escalation procedures and skills. The police officer in the video did a terrible job. He was unable to de-escalate a dispute …. OVER OVERHEAD BIN SPACE? Are you kidding me?

    Furthermore, the policeman started raising his voice, which, as any parent will tell you, is an ESCALATION procedure, not a de-escalation procedure (remember the AA attendant in the shouting match ….). This policeman needs more training in de-escalation procedures …. or he needs to find another job. Flight attendants need the same training … or find another job.

    As much as everyone would love to make overhead bin space a safety issue …. it’s not.

    As far as video goes, there should be 100% video of all parts of the plane at all times. Video is the ONLY way we can keep checks and balances on people in a position of authority and empowered to use or authorize the use of force against us. Videos don’t lie. People do lie. We need body cams, car cams , and plane cams. Why would you not want to document facts?

  11. AZDeltaflyer Reply

    If the issue was that the passenger threw another passenger’s items on the floor, I (as the flight attendant) would just pick the items up and place them into another bin (or somewhere else) and apologize to the passenger’ whose items were thrown on the floor for the rude behavior of the offending passenger (in a calm voice). This would, most likely, have avoided the entire conflict (shame the offending passenger).

    This is how I would tell my children to deal with this situation.

    BTW: you can’t legislate against rude and inconsiderate behaviour … unless you want to have a “consideration police force”.

  12. Quit charging bag fees and then you might have plenty of space for those who want to carry on luggage.

    If you take everyone off the airplane, then nobody knows who the one who is being targeted to give up their seat. All of the exited passengers can then start betting as to who lost the seat and the one who loses his seat gets the money . . . Seriously, this does need to be changed because passengers have been emboldened to not get off/cooperate because there is the potential for a “payday.” But, the airlines started this by making traveling so uncomfortable that too many folks are surly long before you get to the airplane.

  13. I surprised that airlines do not ban photos and videos in these situations. Given the propensity of police and airlines to give very self serving statements in these situations, unbiased witnesses are important. Cabin crew need training in conflict resolution and descalation techniques. Calling cops should be a last resort.

    Where was the pilot? Isn’t the pilot the one with sole authority to kick someone off the plane? The pilot has the most apparent authority onboard and can convince some to obey when flight attendants can’t. Pilots don’t want to deal with this but it is their aircraft.

  14. THIS should be REMOVED from the Delta Marketing for Comfort+:


    Rest easy knowing your things are at hand, with dedicated overhead bin space available right above your seat.”

  15. AZDeltaflyer Reply

    Agree with John, the Pilots need to be in the cabin and give the final authorization (in person) to remove the passenger. Hiding in the cockpit is nonsense …. especially when these guys make a ton of money. How can a pilot give the final authorization to use force without witnessing the actual behaviour.

    Again, everyone needs to go to de-escalation “school” ….

  16. Wow what a spectrum of comments.

    I believe that individual is 100% accountable for their behavior. And it is not consistent with the directions of the flight cre they broke the law.

    I do not believe we should lose an extra hour just to get rid of the videos. The snowflakes that lost the videos are just trying to create attention and discontent.

    I do think the crew should have a “yellow” card just like soccer and basically earn the person and then they go.

    But this is all on the people with bad behavior. Everything else is an excuse to let people off the hook.

  17. Great comments everyone. For me, I see the safety thing as the biggest overriding issue that is the rest of us not the person who may or may not be treated well after all have gotten off the jet.

  18. Yes, that’s all we need, pilots leaving the cockpit and being potentially harmed – so no one gets to fly? Thank goodness the airlines and FAA have thought this through a little more carefully.

  19. @DDiamnd Better the flight attendants be harmed than the pilot? Planes don’t fly without a full crew be they pilot or FA.

  20. AZDeltaflyer Reply

    Not asking the pilot to do the actual removal … just to confirm first hand that the actions of the passenger justify the removal. I doubt if there is any FAA rules that prevent the Captain from into the cabin to investigate a disturbance when the plane is at the gate. The Captain has the authority to do just about anything on the aircraft. I’ve never heard of any flight crew being harmed in similar circumstances …. negligible risk.

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