Andre Hilton is an interior designer in Atlanta. He’s also hearing impaired. He was also thrown off a Delta flight after trying to hold a flight attendant accountable.
Delta Ejects Hearing-Impaired Passenger
This is a story relating to masks, but only tangentially so. Per Hilton, he was having a conversation with his seatmate and his mask slipped over his nose. A flight attendant got in his face and told him “for the last time” to keep the mask on. But Hilton claims there was no first time…there was only one warning and the flight attendant was rude, even pointing two fingers just inches from Hilton’s face.
Hilton explained that he was hearing impaired and showed the flight attendant his hearing aids. But the flight attendant, according to Hilton, continued to berate him loudly in front of other passengers.
Hilton decided to ask for the flight attendant’s name. The flight attendant reacted negatively.
“And he goes, ‘Nope, that’s it. You’re [a] problem, I knew you were going to be a problem. Soon as he stepped on, you got to go, you’re getting off the plane.'”
The pilot approached Hilton and asked him to accompany him to the front of the aircraft. Hilton immediately complied. A discussion ensued:
Hilton: For him to label me a problem and call me a problem was out of line.
Delta Pilot: Okay, work with me on this. We’re going to put you on the next flight, but you can get mileage or whatever like that when you get to Atlanta.”
Hilton: “I really don’t want to…. I want to get home just like everybody else.”
Delta Pilot: “I know but the conflict resolution team has recommended we put you on the next flight.”
Hilton: “So basically I’m being kicked off this flight and being put on the next one, after being disrespected on this one.”
Delta Pilot: “I can’t answer that part.”
Hilton did end up taking the next flight home.
You can watch part or all of the 11-minute video here:
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An Apology From Delta
I’d love to hear the flight attendant’s side of the story, but we do have the following statement from Delta:
“As part of our many apologies and exchanges with this customer about his very atypical experience last month, we fully refunded his airfare in addition to other gestures of goodwill. Our teams continue to be in touch with his attorney.
“Our deep-seated values of diversity and inclusion of all groups in the world we serve extend especially to our customers with disabilities, as evidenced by Delta’s Advisory Board on Disability. In place for more than a decade, this Delta board consists of individuals with unique insight as both Delta frequent flyers and who each are experts on a variety of disabilities. This group continues to advise Delta on how we can continue to provide thoughtful and safe service to customers with disabilities.”
Yes, Hilton has hired an attorney over this.
The fact that Delta has publicly and privately apologized makes me think the flight attendant was in the wrong. Listening to Hilton, he also doesn’t strike me as anti-masker in any way. Thus, I tend to think this issue is a case of a bad apple flight attendant.
image: andre_jordan_hilton / Instagram