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Delta Airlines / passengers delayed for 6 hours in the plane with no food, disgusting restrooms and no solutions

1 United States

Last August 31st, I was flying to Toronto from JFK, with a departure time set at 5.33pm. A few minutes before the time of boarding, a delay on our time departure was announced. So, we boarded one hour later.

Getting out of the gate took longer that usual because of the traffic, but we got a place in the line to take off. We had been in the plane for about an hour, really close to take off, when we received an announcement from the pilot stating that we needed to return to the gate since the flight attendant was about to exceed her maximum time of work for that day. But we were told there was another flight attendant ready to board as soon as we get to the gate.

It took us a really long time to get out of the line and there were no available gates so we had to wait for about another hour. By the time we managed to reach one, there was no one waiting to replace our flight attendant, so we had to wait for another hour.

In the meantime, we received another announcement from the pilot, saying that the First Officer was also reaching his maximum working time for the day. Therefore, we needed another replacement, and this lead to another unnecessary delay.

When all the crew was finally on the plane, there was some paperwork to be done, refilling the fuel etc. Then, the line of planes was not reduced so we spent over an hour taxing and managed to take off after midnight and arrived in Toronto airport around 2 am, after an incredible seven-hour delay.

The weather was perfect that day, in NYC, Toronto as well as in between, as our Pilot confirmed. Even though there was air traffic, all the planes were taking off and landing.

What is hard to understand is Delta’s incapacity to manage its staff efficiently:

Susan, the flight attendant allegued she had given heads up that morning about the possibility of exceeding her working hours. And even if she hadn’t, considering the delays we were already suffering, it had to be obvious for Delta and the rest of the crew that they were going to exceed their working hours. How is it possible that they had to wait until being actually overworking to call a replacement?
None of this nightmare had happened, if Delta had gotten replacements before boarding.

Furthermore, it’s inexcusable the way he passengers were treated by Delta airlines, that showed no interest for the passengers’ comfort:

We were delayed for 7 hours, 6 of which we were held IN the plane (before taking off).

The condition of the restrooms was disgusting. Since we boarded, all passengers had to use perfume to be able to use the restrooms, since they smelled and had no sufficient sanitary conditions.

Although I requested Low sodium meals, we all passengers had salty peanuts, salty crackers and mineral water as only options. Only after we complained for over 4 hours, we received sodas.

The staff did nothing to satisfy my requests (and other passengers’) to organize something to eat (sandwiches etc). Since we were waiting (for the crew’s replacement) at the gate for 3 hours, a catering service could have been easily arranged.

I (as well as other passengers) specifically requested Delta’s crew to ask Delta Airlines for Delta representatives in Toronto to satisfy our needs once we get there. Many passengers had missed connecting flights, reservations at hotels, and I missed my pre-booked shuttle to Niagara Falls.

But when we got to Toronto there was only one Delta representative waiting for us, who didn’t do anything, impotent of helping us after a seven-hour delay. All the passengers were discouraged to try to get immediate transportation, alleging it would be faster to make our own arrangements and then ask Delta for a refund.

Therefore, my boyfriend (who had been driving from the US for over 8 hours and surprisingly still reached Niagara before I did) had to drive all the way from Niagara to pick me up in Toronto Airport.

Based on the paragraphs above, I think it’s proved Delta has no capabilities to fulfill schedules’ commitments or to treat passengers accurately.

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