Delta Air Lines is under fire as a pilot is accused of ridiculing singer and TV personality Tamar Braxton in what she and her sisters claimed was a racially motivated encounter.
Braxton was flying from Cincinnati to her home in Atlanta when she got an earful from the pilot.
“Here’s how it works,” he started. “If you get an instruction from a flight attendant, I need to know you are willing and able to do what you are told. Are you willing and able to do what you are told by a flight attendant? Don’t ask any questions. Answer yes or no.”
The pilot, whose name was not immediately released, was caught on camera by Tamar’s sister, Towanda.
Towanda was sitting next to Tamar as the situation unfolded.
“[Tamar Braxton] got ridiculed by a pilot for flying while black by Delta. Wow! I guess being a diamond and double million miler don’t matter,” she wrote after posting the video to Instagram.
Tamar was taken aback by the exchange and could be heard after the pilot walked away discussing with her sister whether they should get off the flight before the plane left the tarmac.
Delta responded directly to Towanda on Twitter, writing,
“Towanda, our employees reflect our culture of treating all people with dignity and respect, and if we aren’t doing that, we aren’t doing our job. We’re looking into it now.”
The incident reportedly began when Tamar told a flight attendant she and her group wanted to deplane without their bags, a possible violation of federal law.
“It’s crucial for the safety of every flight for customers to be willing and able to follow crew instructions. When these customers exhibited some unusual behavior and refused to acknowledge our flight crew’s instructions, the captain addressed them directly to ensure the safety and security of the entire flight,” the airline told Inside Edition.