Delta flight crew threatens parents with jail and foster care for putting child in a seat they paid for

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“We are super sorry that this happened and that our employees followed our policies to the letter. We have no plans to change any of those policies, but we look forward to apologizing to the next passengers we choose to inconvenience.”



Sue the shit out’a them [Delta], maybe then they’ll get a clue.


Is it the altitude? What makes these people act this way?


They were trying to fly on a ticket issued in someone else’s name. You haven’t been able to do that for a long time.


I am going to repeat something I recently had cause to post on another website. It’s true.

Back around 1980 my manager, who had worked extensively in the Soviet Union and the US, told me before my first business trip to the US that in his experience Soviet bureaucracy was easier to deal with than US bureaucracy, and to be aware. I did not believe him.
Then I went to the US. A few days later I was visiting a certain auto maker in Detroit. On my way out the ferry service dropped me at the gate near my car. I started to walk through the gate, there being no traffic at the time of day.
Whereupon a security guard drew a gun on me and instructed me to turn round, walk about 50 metres along the wire fence to the gate for human beings, and thus to my car. This added a totally unnecessary 100M to my walk and gave me slightly paranoid feelings. A gun? Really? I know Detroit is a bit edgy but I was wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase, and am white.


Yes, I don’t understand either why people board flights and try to do whatever they want, whereas there are very specific rules and guidelines to follow.

After the United beat-up, this is the fifth or so non-issue that was actually created by passengers that don’t want to abide by the rules and then play the victim.

I remember the woman with the stroller (which are not allowed as carry on, I think), a couple that keep changing seats to upgraded seats without paying for them, the passengers slapped on the bridge by the captain trying to stop a fight, and now this family that is bending the rules.

If people keep trying to cash in from the airlines due to the United fiasco, this will become daily news and flights will get worse.

As passengers we can do a bit to stop this nonsense, and when truly an abuse by the airlines occurs we must denounce it.


Well, if you don’t want to give your money to Delta and you don’t live near a SWA airport (my closest is 3 hours drive away), you could always switch to United…er, American…er, Amtrak.

Thanks for approving all those giant corporate mergers, Washington!


jesus jumping christ you can’t fly on a ticket under someone else’s name, you are not this special, the rules do in fact apply to you.


Thank goodness for families fighting back against this stupid rule! I hope the airline changes the rule and makes an exception for immediate family members.


They were letting an infant fly in a seat bought for another under 18 child of theirs. Neither of which are required to produce ID. So this is not, in fact, against FAA rules and Delta would not have even known the infant was not the child intended for the seat if the parents hadn’t told them. How could Delta have known otherwise, by carding the baby?
I am disturbed by automatic deference to wrongheaded authority in these cases without any attempts at common sense.


there is the rub right? A Consumer doesn’t care who’s name the product is purchased in only that they purchased it…so to the consumer they “own” it. The seller does care who’s name is on the purchased ticket/receipt so if you are not “John Doe from Elkhurst Indiana” then you own nothing and they as the seller owe you nothing.

The truth is somewhere in the middle isn’t it? If I buy one XBox Live account in my name, and I let my son play on it all the time and I do not…it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to play. I bought it, I should own the capacity to let someone use it. In the case of this video…the children who they bought seats for really should be listed as the fliers, not the kids themselves because they are underage. But maybe that’s me being too logical? I dunno.


I think I am more appalled at this comment than I am at Delta’s appalling behavior. It’s an appallapalooza up in here.


@markfrauenfelder I agree that should be the exception. If I purchase 2 tickets to fly and at the last minute change which kid is taking the trip with me, it should be allowed.

@NedSparks It normally asks for the age of the child as far as I know. Maybe that’s always been a voluntary field and just listed it regardless? And to be perfectly honest if the name on the ticket is Elizabeth Smith and I show up with my son John Smith its sort of obvious something is amiss. It is against rules for someone to fly under someone else’s ticket…it is not age specific. The issue here is more around having a seated family and threatening them this way. The boarding gate shouldn’t have let them on…or to be honest…start having babies have to have a ticket too, even if not a seat.


I get that the comment will get negative comments, I agree that Dr. Dao/United case was a mess and a human’s right abuse, the same with the guy trying to pee at a Delta flight.

But the other cases, they sound to me more like this…

Once I was in a non-english country, and there was this all-american family at a McDonalds, screaming so hard that you can hear them from the street. Their issue? They demanded that their order should be taken in english because McDonalds is an all-american company. Police was called, and they were removed. You can conclude whatever you want from this. They didn’t get compensation from McDonalds.

I hate to flight, but I like to arrive without issues at my destination. I know the people that work in the flight industry is one of the more stressed out work groups ever, they also have families and they need to keep their work, sometimes they will snap, as it seems is the case from their response to their customers, it shouldn’t have to be that way, that’s true.

And yes, up in the top the executives are not very stressed with their bonuses, but let’s try to make it also a little bit easier for the working people in the fast food counters and airplanes and airports. It goes both ways, and is the humane thing to do.


A two year old is not an infant. Specifically a two year old is required to have a seat on a lot of carriers, including United. You can fly with a child under two in your lap (paying something like 1/4 fare for the kid), but as of two they must have their own seat, purchased at a full fare price.

The United attendant was ordering the family to break United’s own rules.



Regardless to any personal assumptions, perceived “sense of entitlement” or any untoward behavior on the part of the passengers, the employees’ reaction to the situation was needlessly hostile and only escalated the problem.

The issue here is not opportunistic customers trying to “get over” on big business because of United’s scandal; it’s that big business constantly fucks over its consumers just because they can, and that attitude has become accepted as “that’s just the way it is.”

Threatening the well being of someone’s child due to a minor altercation was highly unprofessional at best, and a huge overreach on the part of airline staff.


Good one. I was, of course, referring to the tin-can dictator whose go-to move was threatening a customer.


“Once I was in a non-english country, and there was this all-american family at a McDonalds, screaming so hard that you can hear them from the street.”

Cool story, but it is nothing like what happened here. The father on this Delta flight was not screaming. In fact he was exceedingly polite to the passive-aggressive sociopathic flight attendant who threatened the family with imprisonment and forced estrangement from their kids.