How we dealt a blow to Delta Airlines

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By now, everybody knows that I am not a fan of Delta. A good friend sent me an e-mail with a comment, “Hi Stan. Here’s another reason not to fly on your least-favorite airline.” The following is from that e-mail and before sending it off to my editor (fine gentleman that he is), I checked it for accuracy.

Delta Airlines has a frequent flyer program and a website that tells you how many miles one must have to get a free ticket from one place to another. With regard to the Middle East, the site is:

On this site, there was a chart which stated (my emphasis is added):

“For travel from the Middle East:

Bahrain; Egypt; Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Occupied Palestinian Territory; Oman; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Syrian Arab Republic; United Arab Emirates (composed of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras El Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm Al Qaiwain); Yemen, Republic of; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Uzbekistan.”

The table shows you how many miles are needed to fly from this Occupied Palestinian Territory to another place. I didn’t know that Delta flew from Occupied Palestinian Territory. It flies from Ben Gurion airport in Lod, about nine miles from Tel Aviv. But that real estate is in Israel. How dare they call it the Occupied Palestinian Territory?

Well, that’s where this story gets even more interesting.

• • •

When I got the original e-mail, the words “Occupied Palestinian Territory” was still on the Delta website yesterday. And on Feb. 8, when I e-mailed the following letter to Delta CEO Richard Anderson, expressing my disapproval:

From: Stanley Gershbein

Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 12:29 PM

To: Anderson, Richard


The country is ISRAEL. Not very nice of you.

Stan Gershbein

• • •

One day later, I received the following response:

Dear Mr. Gershbein,

RE: Case Number 5497368

On behalf of Richard Anderson and all of our executive staff, we thank you for sharing your concerns over the reference used on when referring to travel from the Middle East countries. It was mistakenly posted to our website and immediately removed when brought to our attention.

We appreciate the time you have taken to share this feedback.


Jan Holland

Coordinator, Corporate Customer Care

Delta Air Lines

• • •

Man, nothing travels as fast as e-mail news — not even a jet plane. That day, many of us told Delta what we think and the administration made the appropriate changes in one day. Good for us.

• • •

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s book hit the shelves all over the country last November. I don’t know one person who bought the book. In fact, most of us didn’t even know she wrote a book and if, by some chance, we did, we could not tell you the title.

In her book, the governor describes a 2010 meeting at the White House. Her description upset President Obama and he must have told her so on the tarmac at the airport. The two got into a heated discussion and the media people snapped photos of the governor wagging her finger. Not since the days of Bill Clinton has America seen such significant, meaningful wagging.

Many on the left tell us how rude it was for her to direct a finger at the president.

Many on the right say that she used the wrong finger.

We’ll never know what he said to provoke her, and until that day most of the world didn’t know what she said about him in her book. That morning, “Scorpions For Breakfast” was number 285,568 on the Amazon seller list. One day later it climbed to number 21.

I am saying that an altercation with the president can be very profitable. I hope the governor sent the president a thank-you card.

Read Stanley Gershbein's column every Monday on
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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