Airlines Behaving Badly: Employees Hurl Insults, Steal Luggage — and More
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
It’s tough out there in the terminals. In this week’s very first installment of a new series titled “Airlines Behaving Badly,” we examine the unruly side of air travel. From airline employees issuing biting insults to stealing luggage and beyond, sometimes airlines just don’t behave like they should.
Let’s get to this week’s news:
The last thing David Bookbinder needed after his horrendous boarding experience on a Ryanair flight was to be cyberbullied. But, unfortunately, that’s what he got. In a post detailing an incident in which Ryanair would not permit Bookbinder’s wife to board a flight due to a visa dispute posted on Facebook, Lauren Coupland, a customer service supervisor at the airline, took to the comments section to share her opinion on the matter:
“I bet his wife was hoping deep down that she wouldn’t get on the flight and he would carry on his journey without her. I mean waking up to that fat slob every morning!”
Coupland has since deleted her comment, but Ryanair has yet to issue a statement.
Euopre’s biggest airline by passengers carried earns two mentions this week. In an incriminating video captured by a teenage passenger, a Ryanair baggage handler was caught stealing a red speaker, which happened to be a brand-new birthday present, out of their suitcase.
Unsurprisingly, the employee was fired shortly after airline officials caught wind of the video. The red speaker was also returned to its owner post-confession. We love a satisfying ending.
This one is just cold. A flight attendant, working a flight from Xian (XIY) to Yinchuan (INC), was taken by surprise when her boyfriend of four years proposed to her. The proposal occurred 30 minutes into the flight and was captured on video by passengers moved by the romantic gesture. The video blew up on the internet, going viral with currently 1,512,796 hits on Youtube. However, China Eastern wasn’t too thrilled.
In what might be the ultimate killjoy move, the airline fired the flight attendant for “neglecting passenger safety” and acting “irresponsibly.” However, the passengers on board the plane didn’t seem too bothered by the brief, public display. And what was she supposed to do anyway, say no?
33-year-old rapper Wale, perhaps known best for his song “Running Back” featuring Lil Wayne, took to Twitter to express his grievances with American Airlines. While his flight was left waiting at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK), some employees allegedly made some pretty gnarly racist remarks.
American issued a statement to TPG, saying it’s “reaching out to [Wale] to gather more information” on the event that occurred and that “discrimination has no place” at the carrier.
This one is a doozy. After passenger Arlene Baldwin filed a damaged bag complaint at the Delta claims desk at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), a lengthy dispute that involved multiple assistants and a manager ensued. Things began to escalate to a point in which a customer service representative saw it fit to call the airport police. Baldwin managed to capture the exchange on video:
Baldwin left the help desk soon after, concerned with the treatment she might receive by police as a black woman and attempted to reach Delta customer service via social media. Eventually, Delta issued a public apology to Baldwin over Twitter, as well as a $300 voucher, which she declined.
Featured Image by martin-dm via Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.