Delta Air Lines has come under fire after video showed a white employee nicknamed "Baggage Claim Becky" calling the police on a Black woman trying to report her luggage was damaged.
On August 24, a woman name Arlene, whose last name is being withheld for privacy, was on a Delta flight from Kentucky to Massachusetts. When she landed, she discovered her suitcase was ripped in several places, prompting her to file a baggage claim at Boston Logan International Airport, reported Yahoo Lifestyle.
“I was told that damage happens to suitcases, which I understand, but I wanted to report it anyway,” Arlene told Yahoo. “But it didn’t seem like anyone was taking me seriously.”
Before the manager arrived, Arlene said there were several Delta employees talking about her.
“I was on the phone with my friend and mentioned they were talking about me,” she said. “Then one told me, ‘No one is talking about you. You’re out of your mind.'”
Arlene then asked the employees, “Can you please stop talking to me? You’re not a manager and you’re being disrespectful.”
Eventually the manager arrived to file her claim; however, when Arlene discussed the employees’ behavior to him, he “dismissed” her.
Later on, Arlene asked a Delta employee who was snickering at her to give the manager’s name so she could include it in her complaint. This is when the employee, who later identified herself as Teddra, refused to help.
“He’s not going to be able to come back down here,” Teddra told Arlene.
“But I need his name for my claim,” Arlene said as she filmed the interaction. Once Teddra, who repeatedly refused to give the manager’s name, realized Arlene was filming, she called for police assistance.
“Hey, Frank, it’s Teddra. Can I have the state police in baggage, please?” she said into the phone. “I have a lady who is in my face recording me and won’t leave the office.”
Knowing how the situation could have escalated for the worse, Arlene left on her own. After the incident, she contacted Delta, yet never received an appropriate response from a manager.
However, this week, footage from her encounter was posted to Twitter, where it went viral. Although a Delta employee asked Arlene to remove the video, she refused.
“I do feel like the situation was racial,” Arlene told Yahoo Lifestyle. “If a white person calls the police on a black person, it can end badly. If I were white, she may not have called.”
“I would like to know why she called the police,” she added. “Company diversity training is needed.”
A spokesperson sent the following message to Yahoo Lifestyle: “We apologize to this customer for her experience in the Boston baggage service office and Delta is in contact with her to better understand what transpired. We take situations like these seriously and we are working directly with this customer to use this as an opportunity to learn from her experience and improve on future customer interactions.”
(Photo: C. V. Grinsven/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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