Delta Airlines accused of throwing a black woman in the back of the plane

A black woman has accused Delta Airlines of throwing her into the back of a mid-flight plane for the convenience of two white women.

In a story first reported by ABC7 Bay Area, Camille Henderson described an experience that seems straight out of the Jim Crow era, when black people were routinely moved to the back of the bus. Henderson said she boarded a Feb. 7 flight alone from Atlanta to San Francisco. After taking her seat in 15A, a window seat, she said the last two passengers to board the plane had a disagreement with flight attendants over the seating arrangement. The two women, who were white, said they were supposed to have first-class seats due to a phone call they had with a Delta representative, but they didn’t speak to anyone at the gate before boarding the plane. Physically, they had no first class tickets. Instead they had tickets for 15B and C – middle and aisle seats.

“The whole first hour of the flight, as we were taking off and after being served, they were sort of going back and forth with each other to find out how much space they didn’t have, how embarrassed they were because ‘ they were supposed to have first class seats,” Henderson said in an interview with The Daily Beast.

Henderson recalled that the women, who she said were in their 50s, called a flight attendant and tried to explain their seating situation. The flight attendant said he couldn’t do anything if they didn’t physically have first class tickets.

The women reportedly called another flight attendant when the first was unable to help them. The women told him that they had seen two open seats in first class and asked if they could sit there instead. In the audio recorded by Henderson, the flight attendant can be heard saying that nothing could be done unless the women had the proper tickets.

“Can I call Delta later and make sure they have all the notes in their system?” asked one of the women.

“Absolutely,” the stewardess told her.

After about 10 minutes, as Henderson was trying to sleep, she said a flight attendant came back and asked her if she was traveling alone.

She remembers the stewardess saying that if she moved, it would give the two women more room.

Henderson, 25, said she didn’t want to make a scene and agreed to move from her window seat to an aisle seat at the very back of the plane.

“I don’t want to be the angry black woman who doesn’t listen to the rules, even though the rules were I paid for a seat and I went to my seat and didn’t ask to move,” a- she declared. .

“When I moved backwards,” Henderson continued, “the whole plane is looking at me. It’s not like we’re boarding. It’s not like they moved me before the ‘plane doesn’t take off. … I have to carry all my stuff with me in the back. As I walk towards the back of the plane, everyone is staring a bit. It’s just a little awkward. I just felt like I was in the spotlight, and I really shouldn’t have. There was no need for me to move. There were all these open seats in the back, even if it meant separating them. I don’t know why they didn’t move them.

Henderson said she was offered a free cocktail, but she doesn’t drink.

After landing in San Francisco, Henderson said she made several attempts to get in touch with a Delta customer service representative. However, after several attempts and several hours of waiting, her frustration with the situation escalated, she said.

“I’ve never been so humiliated on a Delta flight before,” Henderson told the supervisor in a recorded call. “I just don’t understand why this became my problem and why the resolution was to force me to move to the back of the plane.”

“How were you humiliated? asked the supervisor, adding that “it was still the main cabin”.

Henderson explained that people made fun of her and made her feel uncomfortable when she had to move house and move her things out back.

“You had a main cabin ticket. When they moved you, you still had a seat in the main cabin,” the supervisor cut her off. “In this reservation area, I would not be able to compensate you.”

“I did not ask for compensation. I didn’t ask that once,” Henderson told The Daily Beast. “I just asked for an acknowledgment of what happened to me. I didn’t ask for a refund, but you assume I’m calling to get my money back.

After that, the rep said there was nothing else he could do, and Henderson decided to tell his story to the media.

“They had a louder voice than me,” she said. “Delta obviously wasn’t listening to me. There was no way to solve it.

The Daily Beast reached out to Delta Airlines Corporate Communications, but an appropriate representative did not respond to a request for comment.

“I want Delta to apologize,” Henderson told The Daily Beast. “I want them to do whatever they have to do, whether it’s better to practice sensitivity or what.”

On Delta’s website, the company lists a number of initiatives to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. However, there is no evidence of equity and training efforts for the benefit of customers.

Since the incident made its way to local Bay Area news, Henderson said she’s been bombarded by online bullies calling her a liar and blaming her for what happened.

“We can’t have conversations about white conveniences at the expense of inconvenient black people. [People focus on] the big events: the George Floyds, all the people unjustly killed by the police, the redlinings, the food deserts, all these things happening on a larger scale,” Henderson said. “But we’re not necessarily talking about the microaggressions – the actions that happen to black people every day.”

“I’m not looking for anything from Delta. I’m not looking for compensation. It’s just a simple acknowledgment of a situation they put me through that made me feel dehumanized.