Black woman claims Delta crew changed her seat to give White passengers 'more space'
Camille Henderson, a Black woman from Alameda, has alleged that a Delta flight attendant asked her to move to the back of the plane on a flight from Atlanta to San Francisco on February 3 to make 'more space' for two White women. She has charged Delta Airlines of discrimination over the incident.
Henderson said she was near row 15 window when the women in the aisle and middle seats next to her indicated they had first-class tickets, according to ABC 7. "They felt that they were ticketed first-class seats, but they couldn't provide the tickets," Henderson said, adding that the women complained for more than an hour.
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Part of the conversation between the women and a flight attendant was recorded by Henderson. According to a recording acquired by ABC 7, one woman is heard saying, "Unfortunately, my first-class seats are occupied." Another person may be heard asking, "They are what?" The woman said, "They're occupied."
The attendant then came up with a plan to offer the women more space at her expense, Henderson told the station. "Are you flying by yourself?" someone asks Henderson, to which she responds that she is. "There’s a seat back there in aisle 34. It’s an aisle seat," the attendant is heard explaining.
According to the publication, Henderson, who claimed that the crew did not ask the women to relocate, reluctantly decided to go to the back row. "I don’t want to make it a race thing, but instead of asking the two White women that were seated next to me (to move), in an attempt to accommodate them, they basically made me have to move," Henderson told ABC 7.
"I just don’t know why I had to move because that was the seat that I paid for, that was my assigned seat," she continued. "As I’m walking back there it’s just humiliating. It’s like having the entire flight look at you and asking what’s going on."
Henderson claimed she was dissatisfied with the information she received from a Delta customer support representative she eventually contacted on the phone. "How were you humiliated for them to ask you to go to another seat?"
In a recording she shared with the publication, the individual can be heard implying that she was not inconvenienced by being relocated to another economy seat. "You’re basically saying there’s nothing that you can do?" she asked the representative. "No, not under these circumstances that I’m showing, ma’am," the person was heard answering.
"We are looking into this situation to better understand what happened," an airline official told ABC7 in a statement. "Delta has no tolerance for discrimination in any form and these allegations run counter to our deeply held values of respecting and honoring the diversity of our customers," the representative continued.
Henderson says she would never fly Delta again. "Me, as a Black woman, I was displaced to make two White women comfortable. That doesn’t make any sense to me," she told the publication.