Delta security interviewed the couple outside the plane at the captain’s request. The couple, U.S. citizens from Cincinnati, “raised no red flags” and was cleared to fly but the captain refused to let them reboard. The flight left without them and they flew home the next day.
The second incident occurred prior to a flight from Amsterdam to New York. Passengers and flight attendants complained about a Muslim passenger who was cleared by Delta’s security office.
The captain returned to the gate, had the man and his bags removed from the plane and had the area near his seat searched.
The government did not explain how the size of the fine was determined but said that it “establishes a strong deterrent against future similar unlawful practices by Delta and other carriers.”
“Delta does not dispute that each of these two incidents could have been handled differently,” the government said.
The airline said it did not act in a discriminatory manner and its employees were reacting to the passengers’ behavior, not their identities.
The company also said it improved its procedures for investigating suspicious behavior to make it “more collaborative and objective” following the two incidents.