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Delta Lifts Pandemic-Era Restrictions On Abusing Flight Crew

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ATLANTA—Deeming the company policy no longer necessary for safe travel, Delta Air Lines announced Monday it would lift all pandemic-era restrictions on passengers abusing its flight crew. “Effective immediately, Delta customers will no longer be removed from a flight for insulting, belittling, striking, or maiming one of our employees while aboard the aircraft,” said CEO Ed Bastian, explaining that with the availability of vaccines and antiviral treatments such as Paxlovid, flight attendants physically attacked for asking passengers to gate-check their luggage were now less likely to contract a case of Covid-19 resulting in hospitalization or death. “Our strict no-abuse rules made sense when infection rates were high and screaming obscenities or spitting into our crew members’ faces dramatically increased their risk of mortality. But going forward, if you purchase a ticket on a Delta flight, you will be fully entitled to throw your drink in a flight attendant’s face, shout racial or homophobic slurs at a gate agent, or even grope a pilot.” Bastian later added that as long as Delta flight attendants continued their current unionization efforts, the airline would not enforce any federal laws that prohibit passengers from carrying firearms aboard its flights.