Delta Can't Land In Newark, Abandons Passengers

Reader Eric writes that his girlfriend got a call from his Aunt last night because her cousin was was stuck on the tarmac at Syracuse, NY. They found this odd because she was flying to Newark. Why would she be on the ground several hours away? Because that’s where Delta dropped her off. According to Eric, Delta abandoned a plane load of passengers in Syracuse after being unable to land in Newark due to high traffic and poor weather.

Eric writes:

Delta told them initially that they had run low on fuel (odd considering they were flying from Salt Lake City to Newark, so they went 200 miles farther to get fuel). Then, at 5pm, they told passengers that there were having mechanical problems, which they repeated every hour until 10pm, when they were told that weather and heavy air traffic disallowed them to land in Newark.

They never did get off the ground again. Now the passengers have the option of taking a bus ride to Newark or spending the weekend in Syracuse while they wait for Delta to come pick them up. Sounds like a lot of fun. Anyone want to stop by the Syracuse airport and see if they’re still sitting there?

USA Today reports that Delta canceled 200 flights all over the northeast last night due to rainy weather and an FAA decision to slow air traffic. Joe Kolshak, Delta’s executive vice president for operations, gave an interview to USA Today, but didn’t mention a planeload of people abandoned in NY:
“While it does inconvenience some people, the goal is to minimize the impact to as few people as possible,” he said.
USA Today claimed that Delta canceled the flights early to “in hopes of giving at least 12-hours notice to affected passengers via automated e-mail and cellphone messages or calls from reservations staff. Passengers could ask for refunds or switch to other flights for no additional fees.”

Google maps says the ride from Syracuse Airport to Newark International Airport is 251 miles. After six hours sitting on the tarmac, would you take the bus or wait?

Eric writes:

Hey Guys,

Last night at about 6pm my girlfriend got a call from her aunt. Apparently my girlfriend’s cousin was stranded on a tarmac in Syracuse, NY. She had been waiting there since 4pm, which is when she was supposed to land in Newark, NJ.

Delta told them initially that they had run low on fuel (odd considering they were flying from Salt Lake City to Newark, so they went 200 miles farther to get fuel). Then, at 5pm, they told passengers that there were having mechanical problems, which they repeated every hour until 10pm, when they were told that weather and heavy air traffic disallowed them to land in Newark.

At 10pm, they let everybody off the plane. Unfortunately, the Syracuse Airport closes all of its shops and restaurants at about 7 or 8. Passengers were told they had two options: Take a bus leaving Syracuse at 1am to Newark (a 5 hour trip), or stay until Sunday (2 days!) and hop another plane.

Luckily, we live in Ithaca, NY, so my girlfriend and I went and picked her up. In a strike of very lucky coincidence, we were going to leave today to go to New Jersey to see them, anyway. For the rest of the people on that flight, they’re either spending 5 hours on a crappy bus to get to Newark at 6am today, or waiting in Syracuse until Sunday. Not exactly an ideal weekend for somebody not from the area.

Cheers,

Eric

UPDATE: Bus carrying passengers from this flight has crashed, killing the driver and sending 12 passengers to the hospital.

With storms firing, Delta cancels 200 flights to curb delays [USA Today]
(Photo: drewski2112)