In a memo to employees Monday, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian thanked all of the line staff for the job they did over the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
He then addressed the disruptive Delta passenger who loudly referred to "Hillary b*tches" and declared his support for President-elect Donald Trump on an Atlanta-to-Allentown flight on November 21, strongly declaring that the man "will never again be allowed on a Delta plane."
"This individual displayed behavior that was loud, rude and disrespectful to his fellow customers," Bastian said.
"He's your president, every god-d*mn one of you," the man ranted on the now-viral video. "If you don't like it, too bad!"
According to other passengers on the flight, the man was taken away by flight attendants for a short time before being allowed to return to his seat. Many people resoundingly criticized the airline for this action.
A statement of apology was later released from Delta:
"We are sorry this disruption occurred. Our crews work hard to ensure flying is comfortable for all of our customers. We are currently investigating the incident. We've followed up with the teams involved and all agree that this customer shouldn't have been allowed to continue on the flight. Our responsibility for making sure all customers feel safe and comfortable with Delta includes requiring civil behavior from everyone.The behavior we see in this video doesn't square with our training or culture, and follow-up will continue so we can better ensure employees know they will be fully supported to make the right decisions when these issues arise."
Many travelers found the statement lacking, and felt that it did not effectively address the actions by the passenger, nor did it make the flying public feel at ease.
In his release on Monday, Bastian defended the actions of the staff on board the flight at the time of the incident.
"After questioning the customer, our team members made the best decision they could given the information they had and allowed him to remain on the flight," Bastian said. "However, if our colleagues had witnessed firsthand what was shown in the video, there is no question they would have removed him from the aircraft."
Delta says they have apologized to the customers who were on the Atlanta-to-Allentown flight where the incident occurred, and refunded the cost of their tickets. Bastian says he wants his team members to know that the company's management is going to support its team members and that the company will "require civility on our planes and in our facilities."
Delta did not identify the man involved in the incident.