A California lady claims she was forced to sit in the rear seat of her Delta flight to make place for two white women.
Last month, Camille Henderson was flying from Atlanta to Los Angeles on Delta Air Lines when she received an unusual request, according to KGO.
Henderson was sitting in a window seat in row 15 when two women in the aisle and center seats adjacent to her complained about their seat assignments.
“They felt like they were ticketed first-class seats, but they couldn’t provide the tickets,” Henderson told the news outlet, adding that they complained about it for more than an hour.
The final two passengers to enter the plane, she added, had a disagreement with flight attendants about the seating arrangement. The two white women claimed they were meant to have first-class seats after speaking with a Delta official over the phone, but they did not talk with anyone at the gate before boarding the plane. They didn’t have first-class tickets physically. Instead, they received 15B and C tickets, which were middle and aisle seats.
“The whole first hour of the flight, as we’re taking off and after being served, they kind of were going back and forth with each other about how much space they don’t have, how inconvenienced they were because they were supposed to have first-class seats,” Henderson said.
Henderson recalled the women, who she estimated to be in their 50s, attempting to explain their seating predicament to a flight attendant. If they did not have first-class tickets, the flight attendant indicated there was nothing he could do.
When the first flight attendant was unable to assist them, the woman allegedly summoned a second flight attendant. The women informed him that two seats in first-class had become available and requested if they might take them instead. The flight attendant can be heard on the audio Henderson recorded indicating that nothing could be done if the women did not have the proper tickets.
“Can I call Delta later and make sure they have all of the notes in their system?” one of the women asked.
“Absolutely,” the flight attendant told her.
Later in the flight, while Henderson was trying to sleep, she said a flight attendant came back and asked if she was traveling alone.
She recalled the flight attendant saying that if she moved, it would give the two women more room.
Henderson claims she agreed to move because “I don’t want to be the angry black woman that doesn’t listen to the rules, even though the rules were that I paid for a seat and I went to my seat and I didn’t ask to move.”
“When I moved to the back,” Henderson continued, “the whole plane is looking at me. It’s not like we were boarding. It’s not like they moved me before the plane took off. …I have to carry all of my stuff with me to the back. As I’m moving to the back of the plane, everybody is kind of looking. It’s just kind of embarrassing. I just felt like I was put under the spotlight, and I really should not have. There was no need for me to move. There were all of these open seats in the back, even if it meant separating them. I don’t know why they didn’t move them.”
Henderson said she was offered a complimentary cocktail, but she doesn’t drink.
After her flight, Henderson protested to Delta Customer Service, but her complaint was ignored since she was transferred “from the main cabin seat to another main cabin seat.”
Henderson said that Delta’s conduct toward her constituted a microaggression,
“We cannot have conversations about white people’s conveniences at the expense of black people being inconvenienced. [People focus on] the big events: the George Floyds, all of the people that are unjustly killed by police, redlinings, food deserts, all these things that happen on a larger scale. But we’re not necessarily talking about the microaggressions—actions that happen every single day to black people.”
Watch it here: Lisa Cabrera/Youtube