31Aug

It has been an intense month for Delta Air Lines. The world’s second largest carrier was in crisis mode when a computer glitch halted all flights on August 8, leaving thousands of Delta customers stranded at airports for hours.

Photo by: Fabian Bimmer / Reuters

Photo by: Fabian Bimmer / Reuters

The company was also dealing with backlash on social media earlier this month for showing an edited version of the movie “Carol,” with a deleted same-sex love scene and a kiss between two women.

The social media controversy erupted when comedian Cameron Esposito tweeted after watching the in-flight movie:

However, Delta was on-point when it responded to media inquiries clarifying the situation and explaining that it does not actually edit any of its in-flight movies. Instead, the airline purchases either an edited or a full version of a film from the official distributors. Delta spokesperson Liz Savadelis explained that Delta’s decision to go with the edited version was based solely on the presence of nudity in the film, and not the same-sex kissing.

“If we were worried about kissing we wouldn’t be showing the film, but because there are scenes with more than a few seconds of nudity, we opted for the edited version instead of the theatrical version,” said Savadelis in a statement.

What could have easily evolved into a full-blown PR nightmare was successfully mitigated with prompt communication. By being available for comment and ready to respond to incoming media inquiries, Delta was able to insert its voice into the conversation as it developed, leaving no room for larger-scale speculation to take root.

When it comes to responding to social media crises (as well as Crisis PR in general), timing is everything, and in this instance, Delta got it just right.

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