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One Buildertrend employee fired after group removed from flight at Omaha airport

CEO issues statement
Posted at 4:47 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 23:12:51-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — One employee of an Omaha-based company has been fired following an incident at Eppley Airfield.

The Omaha Airport Authority police and Delta Airlines say that on Monday night, Delta 5593 flight from Omaha to New York, had to return to its gate because of unruly passengers.

According to Delta, all passengers were deplaned for their safety as the unruly passengers were removed.

"Delta has zero-tolerance for unruly behavior at our airports and on our flights as nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and flight crews," said a Delta spokesperson. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have had for our remaining customers.”

Chief of Police Tim Conahan confirmed that four passengers were removed from the flight at the request of Delta.

“Our officers spoke with the Delta staff," Conahan said. "It was determined that there were four individuals on the flight that Delta requested by removed from the flight due to their kind of belligerent behavior, possible intoxication.”

A crew member told the police that one of the passengers used a racial slur during the incident on board.

Several passengers on the flight shared their experience on Twitter, saying the unruly passengers were wearing gear with the Buildertrend logo. The company has confirmed that some of its employees were involved.

Buildertrend's CEO, Dan Houghton, has released a statement on the incident, confirming that one employee involved has been terminated.

"Based on actions that do not align with Buildertrend’s values and standards of conduct, one employee has been terminated," Houghton wrote. "We continue to investigate the incident and are working diligently to determine all requisite next steps."

Houghton goes on to apologize for the incident.

"Buildertrend shares the frustration, disgust, and concern that many have expressed in the wake of this incident. This behavior does not reflect our company values we hold as a company. We sincerely apologize to the passengers and employees of Delta Air Lines; to our employees and customers; our partners in business and philanthropy; and to the communities we serve."

Read his entire statement on the company website.

No criminal citations or reports have been filed in this incident, but there has been a national uptick in cases of unruly passengers over the past few years.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has issued orders to prosecute those putting flight crews and their fellow passengers at risk.

Delta has gone a step further, asking for a national no-fly list for any person convicted of an on-board disruption that would bar them from any commercial air carrier.

Delta has also put nearly 1,900 people on its own no-fly list for refusing to comply with masking requirements and submitted more than 900 banned names to the TSA to pursue civil penalties.

"While such cases represent a small fraction of overall flights, the rate of incidents with unruly passengers on Delta has increased nearly 100 percent since 2019," Delta said in an open letter to Garland.

Conahan said they haven't seen many cases of unruly passengers at the Omaha airport.

“Out here it’s more random incidents," Conahan said. "We don’t see it all that often.”

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