Delta Air Lines has postponed its “media day” that had been planned to take place this week in New York City.
The move is the latest fallout from a month of bad press that’s hit the U.S. airline industry since an April 9 passenger-dragging incident on a United Express flight made headlines around the globe.
In a statement posted to its website for the event, Delta communications chief Ned Walker said “we have made the difficult decision to postpone our International Media Day until later this year.”
Since the United incident, subsequent customer-service incidents have also put American and Delta in the spotlight. Delta’s incident was the most recent to come to light. It came when a family posted video of a dispute they had on flight from Hawaii. The family was ultimately removed from the flight.
And just last week, Congress grilled executives from several airlines about the incidents and about the general state of flying today. Several lawmakers threatened legislative action if the industry did not improve customer protections on its own.
“With the recent focus by Congress on airline customer service issues that have gone viral on social media, we decided that the timing is not right to showcase Delta’s product innovations and global strategy,” Delta’s Walker added in the statement about the company’s media day. “We are reviewing our plans to reschedule the event and will keep you informed.”
Such “media day” events are common within the airline industry. Typically, carriers will use the occasion to highlight new initiatives and to make their top executives available to the media.
At Delta’s event last year, CEO Ed Bastian and other top executives briefed the media and took questions on a broad range of topics at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta. It was at that event, for example, that Delta revealed its intent to add an international-style premium economy section. Delta also disclosed details of large aircraft orders, including one for Bombardier’s new C Series plane. Delta flew in a model of the plane to show off to the media.
Prior to the wave of bad airline news that began in April, Delta was expected to focus on items like planned cabin upgrades and new airplanes due to begin arriving at the carrier in the coming years.
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