Dear Delta Air,
Today I flew home on one of your small, four seat wide planes. I am a plus-size woman. On all of your other planes the seatbelt fits me fine. On this tiny plane, your seatbelt is one inch too short. So today, I asked for a seat-belt extender.
Now Delta, I know that you might be quick to point out that my size is my fault. Trust me, I know. But my faults gives your flight attendants no excuse for what they did to me today.
I am a tall woman, 5’10″ or a bit more. I chose to occupy the exit row seat. This is normal for me. I’ve done it with you in the past, especially on these itty, bitty planes. But my issue isn’t with your code or manual which states I cannot have an exit row seat with a belt extender. My issue is with the attendants that enforced it.
I watched as they passed me four times, twice each – one of whom was the one who gave me the extender in the first place. She looked me directly in the eye and asked me if I could handle the duties of an exit row seat. I informed her I could. Your other attendant stopped and looked at me in disbelief saying, and I quote, “You got the seat belt fastened?” in a loud voice which prompted everyone’s heads around me to swivel to look at her.
After the door was shut, a total of five trips made past me checking on things by the attendants, the woman who gave me the extender made her way to me, and raising her voice above the noise of the plane, informed me that they did not believe me capable of being able to fulfill the duties of the exit row and it was against policy to allow someone with an extender to sit there. She went on further to say that they had arranged for me to switch places with the man in the back of the plane, and the row where he sat was empty so there would be room for me to, and I quote, “spread out”.
Do you know what it feels like to have this conversation taking place in full hearing of everyone? And to see pity and distaste on people’s faces as you walk down the aisle to take your new seat?
Furthermore, your other attendant proceeded to inform me that she would show me the code and that the attendants on the other flights I’ve taken weren’t “doing their job” if I had been allowed to sit there before. I told her twice to stop her confrontation with me (she was seated next to me in the aisle seat she folded out) and twice she ignored me. When she continued I turned my back on her.
So yes, as I exited the plane and was on the receiving end of yet more excuses and a pathetic attempt at an apology, I was … less than polite in response.
You’ll be receiving my letter of complaint in the next few days. I don’t expect you to do anything about it, but all of my faults aside, no human being deserves the humiliation that your attendants caused me today. A simple, polite, quiet request for me to move while people were still being seated would have sufficed.
- An incredibly angry customer.