Reputation risk: Is Delta Airlines the Mel Gibson of aviation?

Has Delta Airlines become the Mel Gibson of air travel?  As reported recently, Delta Airlines took a reputation hit because it was charging US soldiers $200 for shelping their four piece of luggage when returning from the War on Terror. Now, they are coming off like anti-Semites.

When Delta Airlines took over Northwest Airlines and their Detroit hub, they added Saudi Arabian Airlines to its SkyTeam Alliance of partner airlines. As a result of Saudi’s discriminatory policies, Delta will ban Jews and holders of Israeli passports from boarding flights to the Kingdom.

After this story came out, Delta of course had to defend itself by blogging: “We, like all international airlines, are required to comply with all applicable laws governing entry into every country we serve.”

Rabbi Jason Miller articulates this best: “The issue here is one of principle. Delta isn’t being forced to include Saudi Arabian Airlines into its Sky Team Alliance. In fact, Delta could stand on principle and refuse to include Saudi Arabian Airlines based on its discriminatory policy. No, it’s not Delta’s fault that the Saudi government is anti-Semitic, but it doesn’t have to go along with it. It’s as if the Saudis are telling Delta that when it comes to Jewish passengers its name should become an acronym: “Don’t Even Let Them Aboard.”

I get it that this is a Saudi thing and not a Delta thing but all the public will remember is “Delta = No Jews” especially if they only get half the story. That sort of reputation event is hard to repair.  People already hate airlines for their poor service. Why give the public one more reason to hate you?

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