I’ve had a lot of interesting conversations over the years with other travelers of most amazing landings, most terrifying experiences on a flight, most bizarre delays – you get the idea. Today’s story goes a few years back and was one my bride had while traveling solo to visit her mother in the golf capital of the world Myrtle Beach. It was just one of those where at the end of it we both thought, “Now surely that wasn’t actually necessary!”
The flight was booked SBN-ATL-MYR and everything went on schedule to ATL where things then began to go wrong. The aircraft was an ATR-72 as shown above and after everyone had boarded there was some inexplicable delay. After sitting for roughly 30 minutes with the rear door open (ensconcing us in delightful jet fumes) we were told the delay was due to the crew being unable to locate the coffee pot (and check out this blog about airline coffee). As this item is actually a part of the aircraft, the missing item required an FAA report. There was a further delay until finally after 90 minutes everything was set and the plane was able to depart ATL.
Now, there happened to be a hurricane churning it’s way through Florida and by the time the flight got to Myrtle Beach the outer bands of the storm had arrived as well. MYR refused clearance for the flight to land so the pilot was forced to turn around and head back toward ATL. Because of having flown into the outer bands of the hurricane, however, there had been a substantially greater fuel burn than normal. The pilot was therefore forced to land in Columbia SC to refuel. This was at roughly 1:00am and the airport in Columbia had essentially closed for the night, so there were further delays as maintenance crews were summoned out of bed in order to service the aircraft in the middle of the night. A few of the passengers were so upset over the whole ordeal they got off the plane opting to take their chances at a deserted airport in the middle of SC rather than continue on this flight!
While on the ground refueling, the pilot was in contact with both ATL and MYR. The new development was that MYR was now agreeing to give the flight clearance to land as the winds had calmed with the arrival of the eye of the storm. Eventually it was decided to continue back to ATL instead of trying for MYR again. Back in ATL there were vouchers and hotel arrangements for everyone onboard. My wife disembarked the aircraft 6 hours after boarding it right where she started at 3:00am, sleepily accepting the voucher packet and promises of a confirmed seat the next afternoon and made her way to the hotel.
So, a missing coffee pot cost an entire day of travel. How about you, what’s your most bizarre Delta story?! Tell us – share with your fellow DeltaPoints.com readers your worst Delta nightmare for a chance to win 2 free DELTA drink coupons! 😉 – René
BTW – Be sure to read the blog Monday as I will give away another set of
SONY Noise Canceling Headphones!