Delta Airlines: another Leadership Debacle

By | April 3, 2021

[April 3, 2021]  When you step in cow poop, the best thing to do is get your foot out and rinse it off.  I know, as a kid, I cleaned out barns and even milked a few cows.  But Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian does not seem to understand this concept.  And, he didn’t step in cow poop once but done so repeatedly, at the peril of Delta Airlines.

What did CEO Bastian do that got him and his airlines into so much trouble?   He criticized the state of Georgia’s newly passed voter integrity bill.  Okay, so far.  What got him into trouble with his customers and Georgia elected officials is that he failed to read the law and didn’t know what was in it.  He made claims that were false and defamatory.

“Last week, the Georgia legislature passed a sweeping voting reform act that could make it harder for many Georgians, particularly those in our Black and Brown communities, to exercise their right to vote.” – Delta CEO Ed Bastian

This is false.  The law makes it harder only for non-existent people, unqualified voters, and people who have already cast a vote.

Personally, I’ve been a long-time, frequent user of Delta Airlines and always appreciated their quality customer service.  Several years ago, I even wrote about how Delta’s core values helped them stay successful (see link here).1  Here’s something Delta’s leadership should think about seriously, “stick to your core values.”  Now, my wife and I will no longer fly Delta as our way of saying, screw you, Delta.

There’s an old, unwritten rule in business; stay out of hot-topic political issues.  There is more cow poop there than an average person would want to risk stepping in.  Steve Crowder wrote that liberal activities “bullied Delta CZEO Ed Bastian into denouncing a bill he claimed ‘makes it harder for Georgians to vote.’”2  Now we know that Bastian had been lied to and fell for it.

The Georgia voting bill expands the window when people can vote.  With fairness, Bastian didn’t know that, but he might have been talking about the requirement to show an ID to vote.  I wonder is this the identical requirement that Delta requires to fly?  Yep!

Here is some commonsense sense advice for Mr. Bastian.  Do not associate with fringe left-wing activities in conflict with the vast majority of Americans’ views and interests.  And, stop throwing America under the bus.


  1. I even wrote when Delta emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were able to move beyond their old corporate culture of short-term thinking, destructive decision-making, and poor employee relations. Under CEO Bastian, destructive decision-making is back with a vengeance.
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

42 thoughts on “Delta Airlines: another Leadership Debacle

  1. Rev. Michael Cain

    And now United Airlines is hiring people based on race and gender. “United Sets New Diversity Goal: 50% of Students at New Pilot Training Academy To Be Women and People of Color” Looks another “woke” company. Incompetents will pass their training and will fly airplanes. I guess it’s time to never fly United Airlines again.

    1. Anthony "Tony" Benson

      That includes JP Morgan who are underwriting scholarships that only go to blacks and Hispanics. White people need not apply. Racist!! Yep.

  2. Dan Schneider

    I have never liked coffee, so at the age of 18, working as a busboy in Yellowstone Park, I began drinking Coke at 5:00am every day. I am a 73 year old retired federal judge and I still drink one, at least, every day. Bad habit I know. At least I switched a decade ago to Coke Zero. As of today I will never buy a Coke product again. I am under no illusions that I will impact Coke’s bottom line, but I will feel better. Am I virtue signaling? Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.

    1. Race Me

      Great comment Dan. Same for Delta and other woke enterprises.

  3. Robert R Harper

    So last year I accumulated over 300K miles on Delta and then was banned without notice for the reason below. I never refused to wear a mask, ever. Delta had no policy in place to review a 23 year old flight attendant making an accusation. I will also not fly Delta, especially after learning they pilot group as I’m sure all employees are now facing termination if they post political views on social media. I am a pilot and use to use Delta at least 3 times a month to get to work but no more. Below is something I attempted to post on another website but for some reason never got posted. CENSORSHIP!

    Ben, I couldn’t agree more with your comment concerning the the necessity of being civil while flying (hopefully all the time). But there is the occasional “power trip” by an employee as you suggested and which I experienced with Delta Airlines. I am a pilot and fly the world over every month. I have never refused to wear a mask and never would, however that is what a Delta flight attendant accused and I was banned. I am a Delta Platinum member and Delta airlines has refused to even consider their employee was wrong. It is sad that Delta will not even consider the possibility that an employee made a mistake.

    Additionally Delta Airlines places your Skymiles account in audit once banned freezing all miles you have accumulated. So now I have about 320K miles that my wife, kids and grandkids can’t use due to me being accused of refusing to wear a mask. Now that is ridiculous! Delta airlines refuses to answer any questions about my account and the miles I’ve accumulated. I will avoid Delta airlines in the future whenever possible for these reasons.

    1. Steve Dade

      Robert, wow! They certainly put the hammer down on you. I also didn’t realize the put your Skymiles account on audit and froze all miles. What a bunch of crock! I fly a lot too and I fly those with the best deals. Now, perhaps I will change my strategy to fly those who are not so “woke.”

    2. old warrior

      Smacks of censorship, for sure!!!!!!
      Someone needs to kick the Delta CEO Eddie in the butt.

      1. Edward M. Kennedy, III

        old warrior, you make me laugh, but seriously, Delta has made a HUGE mistake by allowing their CEO to get their company involved in political issues. Ed Bastian needs to remember something really important, we elect politicians to make decisions for us, we give them the authority. Ed Bastian has NO authority whatsoever. So stay out of it Ed.

        1. benrhodesatDOS

          Hi Mr. Kennedy. Great to hear from you again. We are looking forward to your next article here on Gen. Satterfield’s leadership blog. Also, great comment.

    3. Kenny Foster

      Robert, you got really screwed. The CDC now says that masks don’t work. What a bummer that Delta employees are on the ‘hunt’ for those that don’t tow the line on their mask mandate. KEEP FLYING. We need more people like you!!!

  4. Randy Goodman

    Once again, excellent comment and this time on another abject failure of a high ranked corporate CEO. And, he did it of his own free will. Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian shows us that even the smartest people are also among the dumbest. Boycott Delta Airlines.

  5. Willie Shrumburger

    Don’t expect much commonsense from the likes of Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian. He has been terrible in the job. Correct, the first rule of business is don’t step in cow shit if you can avoid it. Ed Bastian has made his mark by stepping all in it and wants to wipe his dirty feet on his customers.

    1. Dead Pool Guy

      Boycott Delta is trending on Twitter (a garbage website but just to say).

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        Yep, boycott Delta. Take your money where the leadership is interested in doing a good job, not attacking elected officials and Americans to boot.

        1. DVM Mitch

          Go woke, go broke. Hmmmmmm, seems rather obvious. But I think they see shoemaker Nike and they didn’t go broke. Now is the time to put your money where your mouth is. Boycott Delta.

        2. Sarah Brothers

          US President. Trump just announced he supports a boycott of Delta and other named “woke” companies.

      2. Dave Lopper

        Boycott Delta and Coke Cola. If you don’t, you are unAmerican. Ha ha ha ha 😀

    2. Wendy Holmes

      News flash, backbone not required to be a CEO of Delta. The ultimate embarrassment for a senior leader is to be called out by EVERYONE for stupidity extreme.

      1. Gregg Rainer

        Yeah, just boycott the heck out of Delta Airlines. Punish them hard. It’s one of 5he few things woke companies understand.

        1. Eddin Collier, Jr.

          Right and make it known to everyone you know. 👍

  6. Max Foster

    Excellent article Gen. Satterfield. Delta Airlines is not the only one doing this stupid stuff and pissing off their customer base. American Airlines is really into the domestic terrorist group BLM. Yes, those are the admitted Marxist organization that was a major player in the anti-American movement, murder, arson, looting, and other violent acts like car jackings. Just look at the liberal cities that let them burn. And they believe “whitey” is the cause of their problems. Eh?

    1. Silly Man

      Never in my life would I think I would live to see politicians supporting domestic terrorism but Nancy Pelosi and her ilk are doing it right now.

      1. Forrest Gump

        Silly Man, yep. Same here. Don’t think for a minute that our political elite care at all about it. They proved, once and for all, that they only care about power. Nancy Pelosi is the most evil person in America. Chuckie Shumer is a close second.

      2. Frank Graham

        And, what do Pelosi and Schumer have in common? They are high-ranked politicians in the Democrat Party. Go figure. 😂

        1. Greg Heyman

          The US DEMOCRAT PARTY is a TERRORIST organization themselves.

          1. Gay Man

            So true. Oh before I forget (never forget actually), boycott Delta boycott Coke ❤️ Love freedom.

    2. Bryan Z. Lee

      Max, well written and thanks for your analysis. Yep, just look at liberal cities and see what is happening. I recommend an article in Gen. Satterfield’s Daily Favorites that discusses the failures of NYC and their attempts to make income inequality better; hint, they made it worse.

  7. Jeff Blackwater

    Hey ya’ll, don’t be surprised by all this. Corporations going “woke” are just jumping on the leftist bandwagon. No need to look here, ignore their ignorance, and sleep with the sheep. Ha Ha Ha Ha …..

    1. Tom Bushmaster

      You got that right, Jeff. Sleep with the fishes is a better analogy and more commonly understood. Well done!

    2. The Kid 1945

      Go woke, go broke, let’s hope so. Then maybe they will kick this stupid CEO out of his job and he can join the millions in the unemployment lines to get an inside view of reality.

      1. JT Patterson

        Hi Kid, don’t expect it to happen. These “boards” that control these large corps are making millions being woke, so don’t expect any changes soon. Remember they are superior to us pions.

      2. corralesdon

        Yep, so simple, but those who think they are superior to us think otherwise.


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