We can’t go on together with suspicious minds.

by Matt on November 13, 2010

Really. You just have to read it to believe it. Thanks to the LA Times for picking this up. Delta, it would be really nice to hear from you. Thanks.

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November 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessi @ Quirky Cookery November 13, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Yikes! At least he wasn’t asked to leave the plane or anything. I wonder what he was doing that was “suspicious” or if it was just the tattoo that worried the other passenger.

Matt November 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm

He actually was asked to deboard the plane! That’s where the questions happened. As far as what he was doing, you’ll probably have to ask that other person what was so “suspicious”. As a regular Delta traveler Adam was doing what he always does…so sad :(

Stephane November 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm

It IS sad and I’ll bet it feels like a personal attack but I think it’s only another symptom of the world in which we now live, a world where “fear” seems to offer people the freedom to make superficial judgments and act on them as though they are true. I hope Delta comes through for you and tries to redeem themselves. I know there’s not much they can do to right the wrong but they really need to try.

Karolyn November 14, 2010 at 12:02 am

Hi! My Dad is a Delta Captain and I have heard twice recently about passengers he had to kick off the plane. One was smoking in the lav, well, that’s against federal law, and the other was “suspicious” but also yelling obscenities and called a flight attendant a derogatory name. The passengers applauded when he was kicked off!

I am sorry that Adam was targeted for a nickname tattoo and humiliated like that, it doesn’t sound like it was deserved AT ALL. There are times when it is appropriate and the flight crew does have to make a subjective decision. Even so, it still sucks for Adam and you!

love your blog… :)

Matt November 14, 2010 at 4:26 am

Thank you so much Karolyn! As both frequent travelers we really do our best to follow rules, abide by every regulation, and be good customers and travelers. I think that’s why this is just upsetting considering we’re Delta regulars. I’m very thankful for the captain and flight attendant who allowed him to fly and I still want everyone to know how much care and great service Delta captains and flight attendants give. Tell your Dad thank you for us! I just hope small-minded passengers can calm down!

Matt November 14, 2010 at 4:27 am

Couldn’t have said it better, Stephane. Thank you.

Diana Nguyen November 14, 2010 at 9:39 am

Just saw this – horrible. What is Adam supposed to from now on? Make sure his picture is on the Delta “safe-to-fly list”? Wear gloves to cover the tattoos? (I’m kidding and hope it doesn’t come to that.)

Fromagette November 14, 2010 at 9:45 am

OMG, I’d have him seated next to me ANYtime. I only seem to get the crazies + the dullards…

Cookin' Canuck November 14, 2010 at 10:49 am

I was shocked when I read Adam’s tweet yesterday. It is so sad to see people make snap judgments others based upon preconceived notions and misdirected fears. Part of the beauty of the human race is that we look and live differently than each other and it is disappointing when something like this happens. I’m sorry Adam had to go through this and I hope that it will make Delta re-think their procedures for dealing with a situation like this (e.g., why not look up Adam in their system to see that he is a Delta medallion member and frequent flier?)

sally cameron November 14, 2010 at 11:13 am

What a shocking and sad story. Things have gotten really ridiculous when flying. And flight attendants seem to be allowed bad behavior themselves with no consequences all under the guise of “security”. On our flight back from Rome I had a flight attendant break a glass of white wine all over me and she barely moved to help! I was covered in glass and wine wondering if I would have to fly wet and smelling like wine for 12 hours. She finally got me towels and some water, after my husband got mad. And he was told not to get mad! She was clueless!

I wonder who the idiot was who thought Adam was acting suspicious. That big red teddy bear? Right. He’s the nicest guy. Of course if someone reported that about a person wearing Arabic dress or other religious clothing what would happen? So someone was not comfortable with Adam’s appearance with his tattoos? Well, get over it. This world, more than ever, is filled with creative, expressive people who may look different to us. We all must take care not to pre-judge or be biased.

christie November 14, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Wow. Just WOW. Apparently tattoos are not innocuous to everyone yet. Kinda take it for granted sometimes.

marla {family fresh cooking} November 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I read this article out loud to my hubs last night on the way home from a party. We were both freaked by Delta’s ignorance and the passengers closed minded attitude. So sorry that experience happened. It would be very hurtful if it ever happened to one of us. I feel especially violated each time I go through security at the airport as they usually pull me over for some ridiculous reason. It is embarrassing & stupid. If they are going to be “profiling” they need to open their eyes quite a bit wider.
Adam is a wonderful person & I am so sorry they wasted his valuable time & energy.

Liz November 14, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Free speech is free speech. Adam benefits from it and so do the unwashed masses he was on the plane with. I personally think that person who reported him needs to a) get out more often and b) open their mind while doing so. However, they were perfectly within their right to exercise their stupidity and I think the airlines handled it well by acknowledging the one customer’s concern but without any major inconvenience to Adam (allowing him to stay aboard the flight in the end). Difficult situation on the part of Delta.

Stephanie November 14, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Matt & Adam,
SO sorry to hear about this! It will be interesting to see how Delta handles this, and if they’ve learned anything from Southwest Airlines (Kevin Smith, anyone?) or United (and their pal Dave Carroll). Hope the rest of his trip was okay.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners November 14, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Almost as bad as the mom who got kicked off her flight 2 years ago because she was breast feeding on the plane and wouldn’t cover up. I think it was Delta as well.

Eel November 15, 2010 at 8:04 am

I’m very sorry you were discriminated against. What right does one have to judge another, I haven’t got a clue. Thank you for writing about this because it definitely needs to be acknowledged!
All my best!
Eel

Nancy@acommunaltable November 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

What more evidence do we need that our entire flight security system is seriously flawed? If it weren’t so frustrating and embarrassing it would almost be funny. I cannot get my mind around how anyone could possibly consider Adam “suspicious” – it simply defies human logic and common sense – which I realize aren’t in such great supply these days. But really.. Adam a threat??
If so, then the majority of the population shouldn’t be allowed on an airplane!!
I am so sorry that Adam had to go through this !

Martha November 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

That was your Adam?! I read the story, I think it was on CNN. Its just crazy how airlines and people react these days. Just because someone has tattoos doesn’t make them suspicious!

April November 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm

That is CRAZY!! Hopefully Delta makes it up to him.

Danielle November 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm

You said it all with your title Matt. Spot on. So sorry to read about what happened, and you know what’s scary? The snarky commenters on the LA Times piece dissing Adam for kicking up a fuss over the incident. The culture of fear that Stephane talked about feels like its spiralling out of control. Hopefully this is the first and last time it happens to a tattooed person.

An afterthought: Didn’t the passenger who squealed stop for a moment to wonder if any of the 9/11 hijackers had any tattoos on them? Duh.

Matt November 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Thanks, Danielle. And it really is crazy. What’s crazier is how the story has taken on a life of its own and I eventually stopped reading the comments online. What struck me as odd as that some folks think Adam made a fuss about it when all he did was tweet — something many of us do. A reporter asked him that same question which I think is funny….why else have twitter? Delta’s on it too ya know :)

Thanks for the kind words, I just hope we all learn to be a little more tolerant of differences from this point on.

Anne November 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Outrageous. So basically someone who is offended by stripes could pick me out of a plane because of my striped shirt, and be powerful enough on their word/misguided opinion that they could have me escorted off? Flying used to be such a luxury…the kind of thing you daydream about as a kid. Now it’s a demeaning experience where most of your rights go out the window and a dirty look could be deemed a “security threat.” Big ups to Adam for managing to stay classy in a situation in which he had every right to get boiling mad- I can’t say I would have been able to hold back as much as he did. It proves even more (not that you NEED to prove ANYTHING) how wrong that other passenger was.

Cindie November 15, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Hey, that’s my nickname for you! TCP…The Colorful Pearson.

Jessica Luchesi November 16, 2010 at 3:27 pm

WOW – I’m pretty speechless. What happened to Adam is just so incredibly silly, that it’s unbelievable. Did they expect he was carrying an atom bomb on his luggage? :| I wonder if he had a “Kill All Humans” Tshirt on, with Bender from Futurama on the back :P So you see how far the fear can go, people stop thinking, and replace their brains for beans I suppose :|

I wouldn’t pay attention to online comments. And I hope things are alright and they don’t add Adam to some weird “No Fly” list or something *rolls eyes*

Alan November 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I for one am glad this happened to him. Otherwise I never would have found your amazing sounding recipe for chipotle mashed sweet potatoes.

Bugis November 18, 2010 at 4:33 am

I’m disappointed this happened, but not surprised. As an expat American in Singapore the cheapest flights back to the US are on the American flag carriers (United, Northwest, etc). This is because the flight attendants are widely known to be completely unfriendly and unhelpful compared to Singapore Airlines or JAL. I hope Adam gets something really good out of them like unlimited use of first class lounges or a ridiculously large amount of frequent flier miles.

frank valdez November 19, 2010 at 6:09 am

i never take delta!

Kiran November 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm

OMG! What happened to basic human rights?

franz November 20, 2010 at 2:58 am

compared to asian carriers the us flight attendants are extremely rude, they never smile, they are discorteuos and they all complain about thier jobs

charita March 9, 2011 at 2:03 am

thats messed up man..

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