Wow: Former Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee Jokes About Dead Southwest Passenger

Nearly a decade ago I wrote about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s Delta Diamond status. If you’re based in the Southeast you’re probably a Delta customer, and Little Rock is just 450 miles from Atlanta. (Whether Delta comps elite status for Arkansas politicians the way they do in Georgia is unclear.)

Huckabee has a love-hate relationship with Delta, occasionally complaining about their telephone reps. Today he let it be known on Twitter than he was sitting in coach. And he was none too happy about the experience — joking about the passenger killed on Southwest to make his point.

This week a Southwest Airlines passenger died as a result of an uncontained engine failure on a flight from New York to Dallas. But Huckabee feels that at least sitting in Delta coach he can’t be sucked out of the plane, since he’s packed in so tight.

In case he deletes it, here’s a screen shot:

The piece that doesn’t fit here — aside from the taste of it all — is that he says he’s flying a 50 seat regional CRJ-200 which doesn’t really offer a Comfort+ section. Perhaps he’s in the exit row. Most likely he was flying Delta flight DL5207 operator by Endeavor Air from Atlanta to Evansville. I’m sure we’re all glad he survived the harrowing 350 mile flight.

Ann Coulter, by the way, didn’t like her seat on Delta either.

(HT: The Winglet)

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. Delta actually markets the front row and exit row on the 50 seaters as “Comfort Plus”. it’s a little ridiculous, but that’s what they do. Either way, those CRJs have been flying for 20+ years with the exact same seat count and similar seats. And he’s just complaining now? stupid

  2. At no point did he “joke about the dead Southwest passenger”. Another shitty, misleading, headline from you.

  3. Can we please keep politics out of here? Gary, it’s obvious you’re a liberal Democrat and hate Trump and yada yada yada. you’ve made that abundantly clear. I come here for travel stuff. Save the anti-Republican stuff for a political blog.

  4. I kind of agree with Robert. I do not find his remark in poor taste nor disrespectful to the deceased passenger.

  5. Oh, PUH-LEEEZE! Cry me a freakin’ river!


    This *IMBECILE* goes out of his way to support an Administration that not only has ZERO INTEREST in promoting consumer protections and/or passengers’ rights, but in fact is doing EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to achieve the EXACT OPPOSITE to COMPLETELY GUT existing regulations that protects flyers…

    Dude, you so do NOT get to whine about how crappy your seat was on this single class Bombardier CRJ-200 operated by a Delta Connection carrier, when the FAKE PRESIDENT you (and your lyin’ daughter) support is working overtime to strip away as many pro-consumer airline protections/ regulations as possible!

    You need to SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE, and just admit that you’re PISSED that there was NO 1st Class section on this 50-seat Regional Jet…

    …SO you were stuck sitting in the same *AWFUL* teeny-tiny, no legroom Economy seats the REST OF US nearly always have to sit in when we fly…



    …At least you do NOT have to deal with these DESPICABLE, TOO SMALL SEATS PACKED INTO NO LEGROOM ROWS ABOARD BOEING’S DISGUSTING, “DENSIFIED” 777s and 787s for 5-15 hour flights like most of us do when we fly…

    Damn, this guy is so self involved and out-of-touch it’s LAUGHABLE… sheesh!

    Boo-Hoo…Cry me a freakin’ river… 😉

  6. so where’s the reference he made to the SW passenger? Seems like a stretch to infer from what you posted. Seems like you don’t like him which is fine but it’s fairly of petty to connect the dot from his comment to SW tragedy.

  7. @kyle: I’m with you on leaving the politics out of a travel blog. But Gary is and always has been a classical libertarian-conservative (except when it comes to naked feet, when he becomes a hard-core prescriptive statist).

  8. Give me a break people. The crack about getting sucked out of a plane is tasteless, rude, and yes, it essentially is a joke about a dead passenger. All politics aside (though many never miss an opportunity to defend the idiocy of their party’s standardbearers) I’m with Gary on this.

  9. Agree this is a stretch, and I’m more liberal/less libertarian than Gary. I would also imagine that a fat-ass like Huckabee would feel uncomfortable and sardine-squeezed in any coach seat, “comfort+” or otherwise. I wouldn’t want to be seated next to him.

  10. Another click bait article. Agree with others. How was he joking about a dead southwest passenger? Shame on you Gary! Questionable integrity…

  11. @Kyle,

    While this is NOT a political blog, the fact remains that the majority of this (odious) Administration’s policies, including its avowed, and AGRESSIVELY HOSTILE bias against consumer protections and flyers’ rights that our OLIGOPOLIST airlines are currently engaged in a full-on campaign seeking to drastically weaken, or even eliminate altogether is VERY MUCH relevant to this particular topic…

    …whether it be it the miserable seat the Governor was whining about that (holding my nose as I’m writing this given who the messenger is) HE’S 100% CORRECT IS BOTH SHAMEFUL AND WE SHOULD BE PAID TO SIT IN INSTEAD OF PAYING FOR SUCH GARBAGE…

    …or the fact that both HE and HIS DAUGHTER are among the principal cheerleaders for an Administration that is AGGRESSIVELY IMPLEMENTING some of the most noxious, hostile, ANTI-CONSUMER policies in the past 50 years…


    …and yet will still support an Administration that has made clear to our OLIGOPOLIST airlines they can go even further to harm consumers through various deceitful pricing stratgegies and/or futher product degradations that will only seats and flying conditions become even worse that what the Gov already found objectionable…

    …well, then, SORRY, that more than “fits” the criteria for injecting/including a political dimension to this discussion in a forum that when discussing airline industry related news and commentary might otherwise be inappropriate…

    HOWEVER, when we’re not just dealing with a political figure, in this case a Governor, but also one that has been an outspoken cheerleader for a controversial Administration (not to mention an Administration whose credibility and legitimacy itself is in doubt) PLUS a politician who’s DAUGHTER is the principal SPOKESPERSON for said controversial Administration…

    …well then I think most reasonable minds would agree, it’s not just logical to expect a political dimension to be on the table for discussion – it would be virtually impossible to NOT include a political dimension in the discussion…

    …I mean hello, the “protagonist” (yeah, yeah, the antonym also applies 😉 ) is a controversial political figure…so HOW CAN POLITICS BE OMITTED from the conversation/discussion?


    Maybe if the particular person being discussed was NOT such a lightening rod himself, or if his daughter’s shameful parade of lies on a daily basis on behalf of her narcissistic and delusional boss, those who are objecting to “Politics” popping up in an airline and travel industry oriented forum wouldn’t be on the defensive…

    …but hey, if you’re embarrassed and want to avoid discussion about him or his Administration’s shameful and immoral policies, then maybe you should just not bother to read comments posted by those who understand just how despicable and immoral most, if not all, of the policies advocated and/or being implemented by this corrupt, incompetent and dangerous Administration are…


  12. Since the edgelords have been so triggered by this I’m going to have to agree with Gary that this is incredibly tasteless and offensive regardless of politics. But since red hats are so full of hypocrisy, imagine the response if Hillary or Obama said this instead? Huckabee will say anything to stay relevant, it’s sad that he didn’t fade away into obscurity like Rick Santorum or Todd Akin. It’s almost like the bigots in the post-Trump era have figured out that if they want to stay relevant, they need to continually say the most repulsive and outrageous things as much as possible.

  13. Mike Huckabee and his trailer trash daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders need to go back to Arkansas and stay there. They are a disgrace.

  14. @Howard,

    Dude, Hillary lost. Go take a shower and get out of your mom’s basement. Why sit around in the dark, surrounded by all those cigarette butts, greasy pizza boxes and empty mountain dew cans and angrily troll the internets?

    ‘There’s a YUGE world out there to explore – use some of these sites to learn how to travel for FREEEEEEEEEEEE. MAGA!

  15. It’s always disheartening to be reminded of how many of my fellow hobbyists are Trump-loving douchebags.

  16. maybe a “too soon” comment, but this isn’t anything different from what thousands of others would also post.

    and at no point did he joke about a dead passenger. poor taste? sure. joking/mocking? absolutely not.

    this blog is getting about as bad as your twitter avatar

  17. This is not a political blog post, but an entry about scumbag politician making inappropriate remark about an airline incident/victim. Did he make that remark? Then stop taking potshots at the person reporting this rather than the person making these remarks!

  18. What Gleff said.
    What Howard said.
    What Lance said.
    What Ray said.
    But especially what Mark said.

  19. The guy weighs 300lbs+ and is wider than two adult males so it’s not the seat that’s the problem, it’s his fat ass that’s the problem! Go lose some weight!

  20. I agree we should leave political discourse out of it. But Mike Huckabee is a political figure discussing his travels on an airplane, entirely relevant to today’s topics of discussion. Even though I am a conservative, I do not understand why anyone here in the comments is actually defending Huckabee on this one. Would it be in good taste to joke about not running into a skyscraper days after 9/11? Horrible and tasteless joke, no way around it.

  21. Whether or not what Huckabee wrote had any direct correlation to the awful incident on Southwest, you must agree that it’s in incredibly poor taste nonetheless and thoughtless wording.

  22. @LarryInNYC – To be fair, I would imagine bare feet on airline seats would make prescriptive statists out of even the most ardent of anarchists.

  23. Dear “Voice”:

    Such a shame that the same sort of prejudices you have, and your political party stands for, results in the same sort of distorted and delusional “beliefs” as your false prophet, that caused you to think you “know” me or what my circumstances are when, of course, you DON’T.

    Leaving aside the arrogance and insensitivity that my much missed and beloved mom is deceased, I hate (well, actually, I’m enjoying…) to burst your delusional bubble, but:

    1.) Don’t smoke. PERIOD.
    2.) Love pizza – but it’s an occasional guilty pleasure so NO greasy pizza boxes strewn about.
    3.) Haven’t had any Moutain Dew in so long can’t remember the last time I drank that…but what I do know, is that I’ve had that so few times in my life, that I probably would still have a few fingers left if I tried to count the few times I actually had it…

    Finally, as to “trolling” the internet, and especially spending time here in an airline/travel focused forum, and voicing strong opinions, I take great pride in the airline industry related professional work done over the course of my lifetime that includes:

    a.) the five or so years (~1999-2004) when I was a regular/frequent contributor of (enough to fill five single spaced pages on my CV) bylined columns and author of comprehensive data analysis reports for a now 20-years old paid subscription publication called “PlaneBusiness Banter” that is Published and Edited by a well-known, highly regarded and widely quoted industry expert, Holly Hegeman (btw…Gary also had a professional relationship with Holly earlier in his distinguished career as an industry reporter/commentator/expert)…

    …oh, and since we’re on the subject of this industry related published work that I’m so proud of, I thought I might also note that one of the best and brightest airline industry legends spoke highly of both in person (several times) at industry events and analyst presentations I attended, as a few times during quarterly analyst calls during that period…in fact, said industry legend (and he is) specifically told me he looked forward to when those comprehensive reports were published, and would then stay up very late poring over the copious amount of data in insight commentary and analysis that those reports were known for!!! 🙂

    …and that ANOTHER very highly regarded CEO at one of the most highly regarded airlines during that era, ALSO called out the reasearch I did post-9/11 where I analyzed data and created models of capacity cuts that exposed which airlines were “cheating” that when all was said and done, proved to be accurate within one-tenth of one percent in correctly identifying the airline that my original research and analysis predicted would be “cheating” (that GREAT research was chronicled prominently with cool artwork Holly added to culminating in the “Pinnoccio Award” the biggest cheater was “awarded” after it waged a campaign to discredit my work after the original analysis was published that in the end was SPOT ON!

    b.) my research has also been featured in several of the best known names in both the mainstream and trade publications, including interviews and expert commentary plus work that was prominently featured on the front page of the business section for two leading newspapers, with one of these two front page stories so impactful, the opening for trading of the stock for the airline that was the subject of the awesome research I brought to this very prestigeous newspaper was delayed by more than 30 mins due to an order imbalance!

    b.) Oh, and while we’re on the subject of my considerable airline/travel industry related professional experience, I began working at a travel agency when I was 13; taught myself, and became proficient using American Airlines SABRE reservations/GDS before I was 16; worked at a well known, premiere travel agency for many years with a large following of individual and corporate clients I booked all around the world…

    c) in fact, I was so good as a travel agent, I even located and chartered a 350 passenger World Airways DC-10 to bring a SOLD OUT planeload of University of Miami Hurricanes’ fans to a national championship bowl game when the alumni association at the university that normally handled charters for much smaller groups aboard much smaller airplanes couldn’t find an airline with ANY plane available at all, and I stepped in to get the job done…

    …and that’s before noting all the work I did to coordinate a fleet of charter buses to ferry fans between the airport and stadium and back, among many other things that a trip of this scope and complexity right down things as ordinary and banal as leafletting vehicles, handing out flyers (this was long before the internet was available to the general public), right up to and including the catering for the pair of cross country flights – all of which went off flawlessly!!! 🙂

    d.) there’s also the several years of airline industry related research and consulting for an attorney with many airline clients, especially a multi-year assignment for British Airways where I was both the Principal Researcher/Analyst and Project Manager…

    …in fact, my cutting edge, innovative research that combined my extensive education in urban planning, urban politics, and urban history with the attorney’s practice that until then limited its work to a much narrower application of well known airline industry exemptions for facilties and equipment resulted in the incorporation of a much broader application of previously unknown sales tax exemptions for passenger, cargo and other facilities at JFK, and later, LaGuardia Airports (among other government owned facilities leased to private companies in NY State) for Industrial Development Agency (IDA; now called “Empire State Development”) funded projects such as American Airlines Terminal 8 redevelopment, and likely many others, where IDA/Empire State Development financing is part of the overall economic development package, which since introduction at BA originally, has saved companies hundreds of millions of dollars in NY State sales taxes…

    …but hey, since you claim to KNOW so much about me already I guess you know all of this already…RIGHT, “Voice”?!?!

    Yeah, guess NOT!!! [Of course…]

    So, now that you’ve made a complete fool of yourself, and only served to perpetuate the STEROTYPES people like me have about imbeciles like YOU and other “Know it All” MAGAs, I’ll just conclude by stating the obvious thing that allows for us “Smug” ones to be so “arrogant” and confident when we state that most of you MAGA cultists are in for a very rude awakening in the coming years when your “hero’s” delusions and outright lies come crashing down hard on you as they most certainly will:

    IF you actually KNEW FACTS before making such wildly FALSE ASSUMPTIONS you wouldn’t say something that in the end EXPOSES how badly misinformed you are; how prejudiced and ignorant you are; or of course, how ridiculous you look after its painfully clear you made assumptions about me that had NO BASIS in facts when you tried to put me down and discredit me the way you did earlier…

    But, hey, your (FAKE) “President” does the same thing hundreds of times per day, so…well…you know…is it any surprise one of his zombie “Kool-Aid” drinkers acts the same way?

    Just sayin’…

    Have a nice day!

  24. heh – That tweet was funny. I wouldn’t vote for Huckabee, but I’m certainly considering following him on Twitter.

    People get offended much too easily… Bunch of whiny pansies…..

  25. This was very educational. Well, the comments are as in don’t question Mr. Miller. He’s a beast and has the cv to prove it.

  26. Misleading headline to make a partisan political jibe at a guy who isn’t even currently active.

    Thanks for injecting the viscousness of politics into a blog that I come to to turn that stuff out. If you want to be a political blogger do that elsewhere, don’t pin your aspirations to a Trojan horse.

    Never reading your blog again.

  27. I don’t see that the tweet is derogatory as referenced in the headline.
    But I do see some body-shaming and Arkansas stereotyping taking root here. Most likely from people that have never been to Arkansas. I mean, I don’t hold it against Arkansas for 8 years of Bill and Hillary.
    The fact that he is a long time Delta customer means he doesn’t let politics influence his purchase decisions.

  28. Howard Miller sounds like a swamp dweller because (1) he is full of rage; (2) he hates corporate American, (3) he apoplectic about Trump. I also note that his economics knowledge seems restricted to one word “oligopoly”; which he explains over and over and over again, like he is the only one in the world that understands. [BTW, Oligopoly is taught in freshman economics and basic business law courses.] Further, capitalizing key words in every paragraph is really hard to read and bad style. His comments are so long, he should think about providing a three or four sentence (in bullet form) executive summary at the top.

    On Huckabee’s tweet. Normal left wing tactic is to demonize normal behavior, to shut everybody up. I would have thought his tweet funny, until it became a form of “hate speech”. Then again, I liked the original Saturday Night Live Mr. Bill show and Monte Python’s French castle (on youtube now). Next time you want to freak out about a joke, just say to yourself: “Pins and needles, needles and pins, it’s a happy man that grins”, take a deep breath, and mellow out.

  29. I agree with voice and other posters that Mike Huckabee and his lying daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders should go back to Arkansas and hide in their trailers. They are an absolute disgrace and have no business even being covered by the news. Any news story that paints them in a positive light is fake news!

  30. Oh, “Other Just Saying”…

    If you’re going to disagree with me, don’t make a fool of yourself by acting like our puerile (FAKE) “President”!

    Take some time out, come up with a reasoned rebuttal, and then let others decide based your contrasting point of view whose perspective best reflects what their experience is when they fly and deal with an airline.

    Bring it, baby!

    BRING. IT.

    But baseless, cheap personal attacks – if that’s the best you can do to express disagreement with my point if view, well, then “GO FLY A KITE”!!!


    Have a nice day!

  31. @Howard Miller said ‘“GO FLY A KITE”!!!’ Yelling again and you want me to take you seriously. LOL. Very funny.

  32. @ Howard Miller. Please. For the love of god….cool the jets. Reading your posts are like reviewing the dictionary. As soon as I see your standard “…” style, I think to myself “oh shit…here we go again”. By paragraph 5 my eyes start to water, by paragraph 10 they become cross-eyed. At 15 they start to bleed. And they hurt. A lot.

    You can continue with writing your manifestos, that’s you’re right to do so. But while you’re busy drafting them, probably giggling with delight, just know that NO BODY cares and probably not reading them.

    Just remember the quote….”If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter….”

  33. He didn’t joke about the dead Southwest passenger. Where is the world did you get that? Where is your mind going Gary? There’s no ‘thoughtless wording’ here. And what he had to say about the seats is true…..

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