Disturbed Delta Airlines, a ‘three-star’ airline with top leadership, is having some trouble lately making positive connections with all of its customers.
According to their own website- they are best for customer experience:
“The quality of Delta’s in-flight and airport experience, expanding network of destinations and reputation for reliability lifted it to the number one ranking on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2022 Readers Choice Awards for Best Airlines in the U.S.”
Yet customers do not agree with the company PR agents:
.@Delta airlines is the worst.
Phones are not answered, even after 90 minute waits.
Messages via Twitter lead to instructions to use a "secure messaging" system (text message!).
There you learn, "The estimated wait time to message w/our specialists is 80 minutes."
— Evan Handler (@EvanHandler) December 26, 2022
But what Delta is most concerned with is that no one says anything mean about a Democrat official of the Biden administration:
“A Delta Airlines pilot may be in hot water after blaming Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for the dismal state of American air travel during an announcement on the plane’s intercom,” The Western Journal reported, adding:
At least one passenger made the decision to become a political tattletale over the public service announcement, which took place Monday in Atlanta, according to Newsweek.
In a since-deleted tweet, a Twitter user with the account “Stewart Lewis” notified Delta that a pilot had blamed Buttigieg for a ground stop.
“@Delta it is not OK for the pilot of flight 2274 ATL-RSW to blame a florida ground stop on @PeteButtigieg. Completely unacceptable political dig just made twice at gate over loud speaker,” the tweet stated.
Deleted, but not forgotten https://t.co/K7BCKMttXb
— Amygator 🐊 *not an actual alligator (@AmyA1A) January 2, 2023
WJ went on:
“ATL” is the airport code for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “RSW” is the airport code for the Southwest Florida International Airport near Fort Myers.
It wasn’t clear exactly what was supposed to have been said over the intercom, but the Twitter post still caused some turbulence.
The tweet was picked up by Christina Pushaw, a communications aide to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with the comment, “Give this pilot a raise!”
Conclusion: it IS okay to criticize federal officials. pic.twitter.com/WHT4yTJMeL
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) January 2, 2023
In another tweet, she responded to a Twitter user who wrote “Spoiler alert….it is OK.”
“Yeah… this isn’t China, Americans are allowed to criticize our government officials.”
Delta Airlines told Newsweek that it’s actively investigating the customer’s complaint.
“Delta will look into this allegation,” an airline representative said in a statement.
There’s reason to believe that the reported criticism of Buttigieg may be timely and accurate.
Here is what happened and Buttigieg’s name came up:
The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday issued a nationwide ground stop to any aircraft destined for Florida, according to Airlive.
The delay on Florida-bound flights stemmed from problems with En Route Automation Modernization, a radar-tracking system used by the FAA.
Flights were snarled throughout the Sunshine State, Reuters reported.
The problem originated with the federal government this time, rather than a private airline. The FAA is part of Buttigieg’s Transportation Department.
Buttigieg’s talked a tough game regarding the airlines amid the holiday dysfunction blighting the nation’s airports, but this isn’t his first month on the job. And it’s his responsibility to fix it.
In fact, he’s threatened consequences for dysfunctional airlines and promised improvement for travelers as recently as this past fall.
Buttigieg was fine with publicly slapping the airlines with blame when they left thousands of American travelers stranded.
Oddly enough, he doesn’t appear to have lined up a series of cable news appearances when one of his own federal agencies is responsible for flight delays plaguing American travelers during the busiest time of the year.
There’s no reason to let the airlines off the hook, but Buttigieg isn’t the guy to call them out.
He’s had two years to improve the gradually declining state of America’s air travel infrastructure, and he’s delivered little but hot rhetoric on television.
Maybe Buttigieg thinks he doesn’t have to worry about criticism since he’s coddled by an establishment media that ignores his actual job performance.
Plus, he has loyal tattletales to snitch out any critics who might speak about his own incompetence.
But others are annoyed with the secretary, according to the Hill:
Progressives are taking aim at Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg over the Southwest airlines holiday travel fiasco that continues to cause mass delays and cancellations across the country, urging further scrutiny of the department’s practices.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a leading left-wing lawmaker on Capitol Hill, took to Twitter on Thursday to question the Transportation Department’s handling of the debacle that left travelers deserted and frenzied and administration officials scrambling.
“Nearly six months ago @BernieSanders & I called for Buttigieg to implement fines & penalties on airlines for cancelling flights. Why were these recommendations not followed?” the congressman tweeted. “This mess with Southwest could have been avoided. We need bold action.”
The California liberal, who is on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, has been publicly critical of Buttigieg’s role in the process and has asked him to use more power to go after what he described in an interview with The Prospect as “unfair and deceptive practices” by the airline industry.
The Southwest episode has caused fury among passengers trying to navigate unusually long flight delays and cancellations with minimum communication from the airline. Scenes of people stranded spread through social media and news outlets highlighting stories of travelers missing out on personal and professional obligations amid the chaos.
“We’ve never seen a situation, at least not on my watch, with this volume of disruptions, so this is going to take an extraordinary level of effort by Southwest,” he said in a televised interview with ABC earlier this week. “And we will mount an extraordinary effort to make sure that they’re meeting their obligations.”