Camille Henderson of California was on a returning Delta flight to the Bay Area after visiting family in Atlanta when she was abruptly asked to move to a seat at the back of the plane to satisfy two white passengers.
On Feb. 3, Camille Henderson was flying from Atlanta to San Francisco and sat at her ticketed window seat in row 15. Two white women sat next to her and complained that they didn’t have enough room, she said.
“They felt like they were ticketed first-class seats, but they couldn’t provide the tickets,” she explained to ABC 7.
After complaining to flight attendants for over an hour, airline staff decided to accommodate the women mid-flight by forcing Henderson to move to row 34, the plane’s last 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,” she said. “I just don’t know why I had to move because that was the seat that I paid for; that was my assigned seat.”
Despite feeling that the request was unfair, Henderson moved to the back of the plane out of fear that she would get in trouble with the airline staff.
“As I’m walking back there it’s just humiliating,” she said of the experience. “It’s like having the entire flight look at you and asking what’s going on.”
After the flight, Henderson tried for days to file a complaint with Delta customer service, which ultimately told her there was nothing they could do. The woman told ABC 7 that a customer service representative questioned her experience, asking her, “How were you humiliated for them to ask you to go to another seat?”
“I just want them to acknowledge that they made me feel powerless and they can’t do that to customers moving forward,” Henderson said. “Me, as a Black woman, I was displaced to make two white women comfortable. That doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Delta has since opened an investigation into the matter and released an official statement.
“We are looking into this situation to better understand what happened,” it read. “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.”