Delta Passenger Causes Inflight Incident So He’d Go Viral On Social Media With Anti-Vax Rant

A man on a Delta Air Lines Salt Lake City – Portland flight on Friday removed the plastic covering from the emergency exit handle on his aircraft and tried to pull it. He wasn’t going to actually succeed in opening the exit door of the pressurized cabin, but his unruly behavior got him arrested.

It turns out his goal wasn’t trying to open the exit door at all. The whole thing was a ruse to attract attention,

  • He figured that passengers on board would film him, and the footage would go viral

  • And they’d be filming him going on an anti-vaccine rant.

The man actually didn’t take the exit door stunt very far. A crewmember told him to “stop touching the handle and move to the rear of the aircraft” and he did. He was “tackled to the ground by nearby passengers.” A flight attendant restored the door to its normal position.

On the ground the passenger perpetrator explained the whole charade.

[H]e created the disturbance “so other passengers would video record him sharing his personal views,” according to the DOJ release.

…[T]he man is seen shouting, “We’re all being lied to, wake up!” and “The Earth is bleeding, the international community hates the United States of America.”

That’s an extremely creative and extraordinarily stupid way to get your message out.

  • It’s high cost. You’re only going to be able to do it one time, and you will face legal process expenses, plus potential fines and jail.

  • It’s high risk. You are trusting passengers to record and social share.

  • It’s low persuasion. You look like a crazy moron, so your ideas aren’t likely to carry much weight with the average viewer of passenger behaving badly porn.

I imagine the argument goes something like this. The passenger has a very limited social media following themselves. Something something about being de-platformed. And the consequences are worth it for ‘the truth they don’t want you to know.’ But that truth ‘cannot be denied’ and once others hear it ‘the elites’ won’t be able to hold it back any longer. Oddly, it doesn’t actually work out that way.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Very telling that the source for the vast majority of anti vax rants is in fact nut cases, narcissists and Q-anon types. While the people that actually know what they are talking about and have the education to back it up are generally pro vax. Just saying……

  2. @JohnW – you have a very biased view that doesn’t reflect reality. Approximately 85-90% of people over 65 are vaccinated and that is core GOP voters. I doubt Kyrie and most other athletes/celebrities that are anti vac for your description. Frankly every Republican I know is fully vaccinated and boosted. Can’t say the same for your people

  3. AC, JohnW did not refer to Republicans — he referred to individuals with mental issues.

    As for your voting claim:

    The survey by AP Votecast, reported by The Wall Street Journal, found that 49 percent of voters 65 and older voted Republican this election cycle, compared to 48 percent who voted Democrat.

    Your assertion is not supported.

    (I am not a liberal. I am not a Democrat. And, I don’t eat babies.)

  4. If Gary had fully reported the story he would have also shared:

    “The prosecutor said witnesses on the plane reported that Demarre [the person maybe trying to open the door] was showing signs that he may have been suffering a mental health crisis, including simultaneously laughing and crying and staring into space on the plane.”

    Of course, had it been fully reported, the story would have had a completely different tone and well, perhaps, isn’t a story at all. Hmmm

  5. Thanks Reno and you are exactly right, my point was simply that the anti vax folks are supported by some very crazy perspectives and the the pro vax side of the argument is supported by the rational, educated, pragmatic perspective. Interesting though that all I said was the Q anon narcissistic types and AC jumped to the conclusion that I was talking about Republicans?
    Since it was brought up, Republicans are in fact far more likely to be anti vax and of course the Republican politicians are certainly the ones most vocally anti vax. Not my opinion, just an observation. ( there also is a fair amount of far left granola crunchers that are anti vax)

  6. Good!

    We need more anti-mandate people to rise. The rest of the sheep in this world will happily die slaves than stand up to politicians and corporations.

  7. Don, the anti vax folks are the little flocks of sheep. Following a conspiracy theory is the quintessential herd of sheep being led astray.

  8. That’s a sad list David. I view the majority of the people that died unvaxxed because they were vulnerable to misinformation as victims…sheep if you will….but the hard core anti vaxxers that aggressively spread anti vax conspiracies, the right wing radio hosts that spread lies and then died from Covid, the people who preached to others, etc…..hard to feel sorry for them but I am trying…However why do the people harping about personal choice have to so aggressively try to influence others personal choice?

  9. @JohnW – some of the misinformation-spreaders are actually frequent posters in this blog, sadly enough…the hot garbage is spread everywhere

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