A Delta Air Lines plane on final approach for landing.
Nicolas Economou/Getty Images
A Delta Air Lines passenger’s flight was canceled twice in the space of a few hours.
Dustin Olson, who works for a spirits producer, says he was traumatized by the experience.
He was most shocked by a pilot telling passengers to “forcefully complain to his employer.”
Dustin Olson was hoping for a smooth journey from New Orleans to LaGuardia in New York on Delta Air Lines, but like so many travelers this summer he faced a host of “bizarre” problems that left him traumatized.
Olson, who works for an alcoholic drinks company, told Insider: “I have certainly had longer delays in my travels, but I have never experienced a sequence of events quite as bizarre as what my fellow passengers and I went through.”
His flight from Louis Armstrong International Airport was scheduled for 2:26 pm on July 29. Flight tickets and text messages confirming the delays and cancellations have been viewed by Insider.
After boarding the plane following some minor delays, the aircraft then remained at the gate before passengers were eventually told the flight had been canceled due to crew fatigue.
Olson said he and his fellow passengers were “furiously trying to rebook or find accommodation” before being told that another crew had just landed and were being transferred to their flight. They were asked to get ready to board again.
Screenshots of Delta messages showing delays.
After reboarding at 6:30 p.m. they waited a couple of hours before the pilot said the flight was being canceled again and encouraged passengers to complain about their experience to Delta.
“I have never heard an airline employee plead with passengers to forcefully complain to his employer the way one of the pilots did when the flight was canceled for the second time,” Olson said.
“What struck me throughout was that every employee working on behalf of Delta really wanted to get us home, from the pilots to the flight attendants to the desk agents. But it was as if some invisible force behind the curtains was conspiring to keep us grounded.”
Olson managed to book a seat on a 7 a.m. flight the next morning before being told another crew had been found, with passengers asked to board for a third time.
“By the time we were boarded for a third time, you could really sense that we were all so traumatized that we just assumed things would fall apart again. It wasn’t until we actually took off that we actually believed we were going home,” Olson said.
He was disappointed by the compensation Delta offered of just 3,500 miles to use for his next flight. Given that it required 29,000 miles “I don’t know why they think that’s adequate.”
Olson is due to fly to Dublin at the end of this month. “Based on everything I’ve read and heard this summer, I feel like we have about a 50/50 chance of getting there without incident.”
Delta did not respond to a request for comment.