NCAA Championship-bound college golf team looks on in disbelief as Delta manhandles clubs

A championship-bound golf team’s tarmac video set off a social media wildfire for one major airline and a pile on as unruly as the baggage handling.

The second-place finish for the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Men’s Golf team at the Chapel Hill Regional was enough to punch their ticket to the upcoming NCAA Championships. However, the high of heading to their fourth-straight national tournament featured an unexpected low as they witnessed their checked clubs getting offloaded from the plane.

In a video that had garnered more than 3.5 million views in little over half a day’s time, the team captioned a handler at once seemingly striving for a distance record, “Nice of @Delta to handle our clubs with such care…”

At one point, one of the bags making the journey to Carlsbad, California could be seen lofted after a quick pivot from the handler, landing atop two already chucked bags before it proceeded to roll and come to a stop on the ground.

Images via X

Sharing their experience not only opened up the door for social media users to shake their heads at the blatant disregard for customers’ belongings, it also turned the comment section into a queue where others quickly raised their own complaints with Delta Airlines for their own baggage mishaps.

Rather than issue a public statement regarding the particular incident filmed by the players from ETSU, Delta’s social media team found itself interjecting throughout the thread, aiming to take on individual claims as quickly as they could.

That only prompted more criticism for the airline as one user remarked, “Why don’t you respond to why your baggage handlers were purposely abusing these very expensive golf bags?”

The varied reports from customers that often included images of some seriously mistreated luggage also had Delta defending its reputation as some users contended the airline ignored baggage claims. “I am sorry you feel we ignore bag claims. We definitely don’t. Our claims manager work on all cases in the order they are received. If you have a claim you would like an update on you can send us a personal message.

Tuesday’s video was only the latest public relations fiasco for a major airline, and Delta in particular as, in addition to safety concerns from Boeing, only a week earlier video had been released of a flight that landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport before the nose caught on fire and passengers were made to use the emergency slides to get off.

Earlier in the year, another Delta flight had lost a wheel prior to takeoff.

While it remained to be seen whether or not the airline would release an official statement, Chris Mascaro, hosts of “The Golf Show” on Atlanta’s The Fan suggested, “Stock so far down @Delta. You need to respond and assure the rest of us who travel with our clubs that you find this completely unacceptable and…these guys were appropriately disciplined. Silence tells us you don’t care & if we’re traveling with our clubs we better book elsewhere.”

Kevin Haggerty

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