I am writing a summary of my trip to nowhere from the 16th. It is a slightly edited version of the letter I wrote to Detla complaining about the horrible trip. On Thursday September 16, 2004 I was on flight 404 from LGA to Atlanta. I was to transfer there and go onto Las Vegas Nevada for a mini vacation to visit my friends Sean & Kelly.
The flight left over an hour and 20 minutes late. We then slowly moved down to Atlanta. We were told by our flight crew we would circle Atlanta due to the weather. We did this for at least an hour, probably more. We were told several times we were on “final approach”. We never landed in Atlanta. A few minutes after we were told one more time of our final approach into Atlanta we were told due to fuel issues we would be diverting to Knoxville TN.
Arriving in Knoxville we proceeded to sit on the jetway for over 4 hours while Delta tried to get a fuel truck to refuel our plane. We were not allowed off the plane, nor was any food provided. During this time the flight crew did their best with the situation, but we were given no information other than we should have news in 20 minutes, or this or that should take 20-40 minutes.
We finally left Knoxville around 7:30PM en route to Atlanta. Once there the weather was still bad, or so they said. We made at least two abortive landing attempts in Atlanta and then the pilot decided it was not safe to land. We were rerouted to Jacksonville Florida. We landed around 9:30 – 10PM. The times are becoming blurry at this time since we were on the plane for at least 7 hours. In Jacksonville we were told the flight would be meet by ticket agents to help us with our travel issues. When we got off the plane there was no one at the gate to help. Several of the people on the plane finally found a baggage agent and she had no idea that there was a flight diverted. We were given mixed information for the next hour and half to two hours. Only one PA announcement was made, and that was an hour after we landed. How do you expect people to know what is going on if your airline doesn’t do what they say they will do, and no one is around to provide any consistent information.
I was finally able to get my luggage after 2 hours of not knowing what was going on. Are you going to blame the 2 hour delay on getting luggage off the plane on bad weather?
When asked the flight attendants they said that delta would probably help us our with overnight accommodations since we were diverted twice that day. On the ground we were told that delta does not accommodate people due to weather. That’s great. Under normal circumstances I can understand that. Why then were we diverted twice and other flights made it into and out of Atlanta with no problems, or some delays when we were diverted twice. If I was warned of potential problems I would never have gotten on the plane in NYC.
With no help from Delta I found a hotel and had to pay for a room for the night. The next morning I arrived at the airport and was told I was rebooked on afternoon flights to my final destination of Las Vegas. Up until that time no one told me anything. By the time Delta would get me to Vegas I would have already wasted half the time I had with my friends. That was the whole purpose of my trip. Instead of wasting even more time in the air for very little time in Vegas I asked to just get me back to NYC.
I understand to a point that weather can cause problems. When I am trapped on a plane for 7 hours with no options, diverted to 2 different airports and had to spend the night in a city that was not my destination with no help from Delta, I am past understanding about weather.
I used to travel for a living. I have had lots of delays and problems due to weather, mechanical or personal issues. This is by far the worst experience I have ever been through. This is from a person who has flown through countless blizzards, storms, etc. At what point does an airline stop hiding behind the excuse that they don’t have to do anything for you due to weather? I am just glad to be home.