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Flight Delay From ‘Literally Hell’: Delta Passengers Subjected To 18-Hour Ordeal At JFK

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A Delta Airlines jetliner. (David Zalubowski/AP/Shutterstock)

One of the most annoying genres of tweet is the one where someone you follow rage-tweets at an airline to complain about a flight delay. In the case of Wednesday’s Delta flight DL0975, such tweets are quite warranted.

The travel delay from hell began yesterday afternoon, when the flight was scheduled to depart JFK for Los Angeles at 3:30 p.m. Instead, passengers sat on the tarmac in vain in a nightmarish situation that rivals anyone’s airport horror stories, as NBC News reports. The flight wound up being delayed all day and night, as frustrated passengers boarded and re-boarded numerous times without actually taking off.

After an 18-hour delay—and a miserable-seeming night which many passengers spent in an airport lounge—the flight finally took off at 9:30 on Thursday morning. As one passenger put it succinctly: “It’s literally been hell.”

Oddly, it’s not exactly clear why the flight was subject to such severe delays. In a statement, Delta cited weather as the cause: “Delta apologizes to customers on Flight 975 operating from NY-JFK to Los Angeles, which was delayed last night due to weather in New York,” the statement reads. “Customers were offered water and snacks, pillows and blankets in the terminal, and the flight departed at approximately 10 a.m. for Los Angeles this morning.” There were some brief, intense thunderstorms in parts of NYC late yesterday afternoon, but FlightAware Vice President Matt Davis tells NBC there was “nothing out of the ordinary” weather-wise at JFK on Wednesday.

This being a flight from New York (a city where celebrities like to live) to Los Angeles (a city where celebrities also like to live), it would make sense that there was a celebrity on board, capable of signal-boosting the passengers’ frustration to a large social media following. In this case, the celebrity was Dancing With the Stars dancer Emma Slater, who tweeted a video of the precise moment passengers were informed that the airline would not provide them with hotel vouchers. The passengers reacted with groans and shouting:

According to one passenger, Tina Knowles-Lawson (Beyoncé’s mom) was also among the stranded passengers, though this is unconfirmed.

It’s not the first Delta delay nightmare of the summer. Just a week ago, passengers descended into chaos and fighting when a Delta flight to Miami was delayed for about seven hours. You can view footage of that debacle here, if you’re binge-watching air travel misery videos this afternoon.





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