A brave Delta employee is being hailed for alerting the authorities to a case of felony cultural appropriation when a black woman disrespected the heritage of white women everywhere by asking to speak to the manager.
Arlene, who asked that she be identified only by her first name, told The Root that she was traveling on a Delta flight from Kentucky to Boston on Aug. 24. When she arrived at Boston’s Logan International Airport, Arlene says she discovered that her bag was badly damaged, so she went to the Delta Service desk to file a baggage claim.
Arlene asked to speak to a manager to make sure she was following the correct procedures and to ensure that her claim would be taken care of, but after making a phone call, the Delta employee informed the customer that the manager on duty was unavailable at the moment.
Arlene recorded the incident with her phone, which shows her asking for a business card, a phone number or any way she could contact the manager. Rebecca Baggingstock, who not only works in customer service but doubles as a bouncer for the Vice President in Charge of Checked Luggage, shook her head with an unpleasant smile as if someone had just informed her that Uggs had just been outlawed by airport security.
As the video continues, the Delta worker tells Arlene that she doesn’t have the manager’s phone number, despite the fact that Sarah Suitcase claims to have just called his office. Then she claims she doesn’t know the number. Then she claims Delta’s policy is not to give out the names or numbers of employees.
Soon after Arlene offered to wait for a manager, things took a drastic turn as Becky the Bag Lady realized that Arlene was filming everything.
“Are you recording me?,” Delta Debbie asks before picking up the phone and gleefully informing Arlene that she is being reported for the terrorist activity of using a phone for in the commission of a baggage claim, a misdemeanor punishable by 2 minutes in time out.
According to the Transportation Safety Administration: “TSA does not prohibit photographing, videotaping or filming at security checkpoints, as long as the screening process is not interfered with or sensitive information is not revealed.”
Massport Properties, the company in charge of Logan International Airport, says on its website:
Photography and filming for non-commercial purposes is allowed on those portions of Massport properties open to the public, subject to the following:
As part of Massport’s efforts to provide for the safety and security of the users of its facilities, Photography may prompt law enforcement officers or Massport personnel to approach you and ask you questions. If, as a result, a law enforcement officer determines that there is reasonable suspicion or probable cause that you are engaged in or about to engage in criminal activity, you may be subject to search of your person or property, detention, arrest or other such law enforcement action as is appropriate under the circumstances.
Despite Arlene’s statement to The Root that: “I do not believe I would have had the police called on me if I was not a black woman,” this probably had nothing to do with Baggage Claim Becky being annoyed that a non-Becky was insisting that a woman simply do her job.
Perhaps the diligent employee thought Arlene’s damaged bag was part of an elaborate terrorist plot to kidnap Delta’s Executive Backpack Inspector and hold him or her for ransom until Liam Neeson received a phone call and yelled: “There’s no time for backup!” and rescued the duffel bag boy (or girl) with old man Karate chops.
That’s probably it. See it’s not about race at all.
Except for the fact that Arlene is a Black woman.
“I did not stay for the police to arrive because of the current climate between the police and people of color,” Arlene told The Root.
Arlene says filed a claim with Delta on Aug. 24 after speaking to someone by phone and reaching out to the company on Twitter. On Aug. 25, she contacted Delta again and once more on Aug. 28 and Sept. 12.
She finally decided to post the video online on Monday and she was quickly contacted by someone in Delta’s corporate office who asked her to take down the Twitter video, which Arlene declined to do.
Delta Airlines has not responded to The Root’s request for comment.
Maybe they should speak to Arlene’s manager.
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2018, 9:25 p.m. EST: The woman at the center of the baggage claim that somehow turned into an episode of Cops reports that Delta finally reached out to her to resolve the matter.
According to Arlene, a Delta corporate executive reached out to inform her that, after speaking to Rebecca the Baggage Inspector, they do not feel that the incident was racial because Delta said the desk clerk only called the police because she “didn’t know what else to do.”
Arlene says Delta offered to pay for her bag and give her a $300 airline credit, which she declined.
And even though using the police as her armed mistake eraser seems like an extreme thing to do, I would like to apologize to the clerk for calling her #BaggageClaimBecky, which took off across the internet (even though it apparently fell out of thin air onto Yahoo News’ desk).
The desk clerk’s real name is Teddra Hagel, which makes me sad. I now understand why she was saltier than those shitty peanuts they hand out on short flights. If my name was Teddra I would call the police on people, too. If my name was Teddra I’d call the police on my parents for giving me a ridiculous name.
I wonder if her full name is Theodordra? While she might be an attractive woman, the middle of her name looks like raggedy as hell. It starts off ok with the “T” but after the “e” it just looks like her name just decided to sit down. How did she get a whole chair in the center of her name? I just googled “Ted” and it turns out that it’s also short for Edward. Please don’t let me find out that this child’s name is Edwardra! I will have to send her an edible arrangement or something.
Anyway ... I just thought you might like to know.