On our return trip from Rome recently we flew Delta Airlines and received quite a shock when the third movie of the flight came on. Let me explain by sharing with you the e-mail I sent to Delta Wednesday:
I wish to express my deep disappointment at the judgment shown by Delta in featuring the movie Lucky Number Slevin on a flight (8/7/06) from Rome to JFK. There were numerous young people on board and unless they were asleep they could hardly miss seeing a man and woman having graphic sex on the screens throughout the plane. I don't know whether Delta assigns actual grown-ups to make the selections for their movies rather than employing teenage boys for the job, but if not you should. To show something like this in such a way that entire families are subjected to what is explicit pornography demonstrates a serious lack of judgment on the part of whomever is responsible. I am not one to "cancel my subscription" because I'm displeased with something, but I have to say that if this is what I'm in for when next I fly overseas with my wife and daughter, I'm simply not going to fly on an airline that has so little regard for what they show in the cabin.
Sincerely, Richard L. Cleary
Here's the reply I received today from a Delta representative:
Dear Mr. Cleary,
Thank you for your message via delta.com. We are grateful for your taking the time to share your concerns with us.
The films shown on Delta reflect those currently produced. We realize many contain material that may be objectionable to individuals for various reasons. Delta maintains strict codes in screening and booking films, and most of the ones we accept have been edited for our use. We show a preview of the movie so passengers have information about the content before choosing to view it. The feedback we receive from our passengers play a direct role in our decisions regarding future programs, and we will continue to exercise as much discretion as possible in this area.
Your selection of Delta is appreciated, and we will always do our best to merit your confidence and support.
Sincerely, Mark Rodgers Online Customer Support Desk
I'm not sure Mr. Rodgers understands the nature of the problem. We did not choose to view the film. The film is shown on screens all through the cabin including a big screen at the front of the coach section. A passenger can block out the sound by not putting on the earphones, but there's no way to block out the visual assault on one's children. If this movie passed muster with Delta's screeners those screeners must have been sub-contracted from the editorial staff of Hustler magazine.
At any rate, if any of you are planning a flight with your family, you may want to bear in mind that Delta's "strict standards" leave plenty of room for some pretty salacious stuff, and when they show it your kids are going to see it whether you "choose" it or not.