During a flight from Fort Wayne, Indiana, a Black passenger and three others were removed from the plane after a flight attendant said the Black woman gave “attitude” over her phone being put on “airplane mode.”
Robyn Rodgers, who is a DJ from New York, was aboard Delta Flight 4727 — which was operated by SkyWest — on Saturday. Before takeoff, a flight attendant approached Rodgers and “rudely” told her to put her phone on airplane mode, Rodgers said on an Instagram post, as reported by USA Today.
According to Rodgers, the attendant “menacingly stood over [her] with her arms folded” even though she complied with her request.
During a brief back-and-forth, Rodgers told the attendant she could handle putting her phone into airplane mode, which resulted in the attendant saying “If you’re gonna act like that, we can go back to the gate and you can get off.”
After Rodgers reportedly held up her phone to show it was on airplane mode, the attendant walked off and announced the plane was returning to the gate.
A passenger behind her began recording the incident after the flight attendant made the announcement.
“I showed it to you so that you would know, and you walked away, and you got mad,” Rodgers said in the video.
“Ma’am, I know what I heard,” the attendant responded.
“I’m not going to argue with you,” the attendant retorted. “Several times during the instructions you were asked to turn your phone into airplane mode. That is the protocol that is done on every flight announcement, yes.”
“OK, so how do we rectify this without holding everyone else up?” Rodgers asked.
“You comply,” the attendant responded.
At this point, another passenger spoke up for Rodgers and told the attendant she did comply.
Near the end, the attendant can be heard saying she has “zero tolerance” for the “attitudes” of the passengers.
In the caption of the video, Rodgers explained that she, the man who defended her, his son, and another woman who had earlier asked the flight attendant to sit down so the plane could leave, were all escorted off the flight by an officer.
Delta has not yet responded to a request for comment, but SkyWest, which had operated the flight as a Delta Connection, released a statement promising to follow up with the passengers.
"We take all allegations of discrimination seriously and are reviewing reports from SkyWest flight 4527 operating as Delta Connection. We are disappointed that our customers had this experience and are working with our partner Delta to follow up directly with the customers involved,” wrote SkyWest.
Additionally, Rodgers said the airline did not offer to pay for any lodging or new flights for the passengers. A Delta representative disputed her claim CBS 46.
(Photo: DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images)