A woman flying on a Delta flight from Boston to Atlanta claims that an employee at the airline had written an anti-gay slur on her rainbow luggage tag.
Last Thursday, Renee Gerrish of Atlanta, Ga., tweeted an image of her defaced luggage tag and reached out to Delta for support. Gerrish, a heterosexual ally of the LGBTQ community, alleges that a Delta Air Lines baggage handler had scrawled the word “sodomite” on her personal property, which she only discovered once she touched down at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
Someone at Delta Air Lines baggage handling took it upon themselves to write “sodomite” on my 🌈 luggage tag. Bigotry, hate speech and destruction of personal property while in @Delta airline’s care. I want this shared and on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community- I will not go quietly. pic.twitter.com/BzbG4n0jas— Renee Gerrish (@recklessrita) September 12, 2019
“I’m deeply hurt and offended that someone felt the entitlement to ruin and tamper with personal property with hate speech,” Gerrish told LGBTQ Nation. “I wear LGBTQ+ support clothing and accessories regularly. As a girl, I love rainbows, but as a symbol of love and support for the community, that means everything to me."
Along with reaching out to Delta on Twitter, Gerrish emailed the airline’s customer support to voice her disappointment.
“As a hetero woman, I can only know my hurt, anger, and disappointment… PALE in comparison to what the LGBTQ+ community experiences on a daily basis,” Gerrish wrote in an email to Delta, provided to the outlet.
While Gerrish was initially annoyed that she did not receive a proper response from Delta, on Tuesday, she shared an update on her Twitter account.
Luggage tag/@Delta update: i was able to connect with the someone in the executive branch yesterday in regards to my defaced tag. I truly appreciated her time and genuine care. More details of the situation in picture below. pic.twitter.com/D1N8oPJYc9— Renee Gerrish (@recklessrita) September 17, 2019
According to Gerrish, a member of Delta's executive branch personally reached out to apologize for the incident and the employee was "incredibly genuine and sincere."
"She was incredibly vocal about the disgust and disappointment in the situation as well as her office mates who were appalled," Gerrish wrote. "In addition they are doing their due diligence and fully investigating this. They are conducting interviews with people in Boston and Atlanta." Gerrish added the airline would also review security footage.
A Delta spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo Lifestyle that they have reached out to Gerrish and provided the following statement: “As a global carrier with a diverse workforce and customer base, we are committed to respecting and treating all passengers equally. We take this accusation seriously and are currently investigating the details to determine what occurred.”
Gerrish plans to follow up with the TSA and may file a police report, at the suggestion of the Delta employee.
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