Entries in Delta Airlines (8)


Marine Amputee ‘Humiliated’ on Delta Flight

Delta Airlines(WASHINGTON) -- A Marine, a double amputee, on a Delta Airlines flight earlier this month was reportedly treated poorly and humiliated by airline staff.

Marine Lance Cpl. Christian Brown was on Delta flight 504 from Atlanta to Washington, D.C.  Army Col. Nickey Knighton, a fellow passenger and veteran, sent a complaint to Delta Airlines about Brown’s treatment. The complaint was obtained by the Washington Post.

The Post reports that Brown was “clumsily wheeled to the back row of the plane” and "humiliated to the point of tears.”  Although fellow passengers in first class attempted to give up their seats in exchange for Brown’s seat in the last row of economy class, airline staff would not allow it because it was time for the plane to take off.

Another passenger, retired Army Lt. Col. Keith Gafford, told the Post, "I have been flying with Delta for a gazillion years, and this crew treated Chris worse than you’d treat any thing, not even any body. I did 27 years in the military. I have seen a lot of things and have seen a lot of guys die, but I have never seen a Marine cry.  What the kid said was, ‘I have given everything that I can give and this is the way I am being treated? This is how I will be treated for the rest of my life?’”

Brown also became sick during the flight, which may have added to his frustration.

In an emailed statement to ABC News, airline spokesman Michael Thomas said, “This story in no way reflects how Delta treats customers or the high regard we hold for our nation’s service members. We are actively investigating and have reached out to this customer and his family. We’re sorry for the difficulties that transpired.”

According to the Post, Brown was leading his squad on a foot patrol in Afghanistan’s Helmand province on Dec. 13, 2011, when he stepped on an explosive device that blew off both his legs, one above the knee, the other below his hip. He also lost part of his right index finger.

Today, Brown lives in an apartment on the campus of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He undergoes daily physical therapy to adjust to his prosthetic legs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Needles Found in Sandwiches on Four Delta Flights

ABC News(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Two passengers suffered minor injuries from needles found in the meat of sandwiches served aboard four Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to the United States Sunday, federal officials report. And the FBI is now investigating those incidents.

The sandwiches were served to business class passengers, crew members and government employees flying from Amsterdam to the United States.

At least one batch of 17 sandwiches appeared to be made by a U.S. company based at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. Those sandwiches were served board Delta's flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul Sunday afternoon. Two passengers aboard the flight found needles in their sandwiches, officials confirmed. The sandwiches were turned over by Delta to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).

Two passengers sustained minor injuries after biting into the sandwiches and CBP officials found a third needle after confiscating the sandwiches, according to an official report.

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"Delta is taking this matter extremely seriously and is cooperating with local and federal authorities who are investigating the incident," Delta spokeswoman Kristin Bauer said in a statement to ABC News. "Delta has taken immediate action with our in-flight caterer at Amsterdam to ensure the safety and quality of the food we provide onboard our aircraft."

Delta told authorities that Gate Gourmet, a U.S. company operating in Amsterdam, made the sandwiches.

Gate Gourmet did not respond to calls for comment.

Although federal air marshals were aboard the flight, they were not notified of the incident by the crew, authorities said, until deplaning. At that point the air marshals turned the incident over to the FBI, which was working with CBP and local police to investigate how the needles were put in the meat.

In addition to the Minneapolis flight, a needle was discovered by a teenage passenger aboard a Delta flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta. The teen would not surrender the needle to authorities, who noted he told them that he planned to use it as evidence in a lawsuit.

In a federal report on the incidents, it was noted that the teen was the son of a passenger aboard the flight to Minneapolis who also found a needle in his sandwich.

Additional needles were reported found on two other flights, one by a crew member and another by a federal air marshal.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Flight Turned Around After Wires Found on Delta Plane to Madrid 

Delta Airlines (NEW YORK) -- Authorities fearing terror in the sky turned around a flight to Madrid shortly after it took off from New York when a federal air marshal spotted suspicious wires in a rear lavatory.

However, after a SWAT team entry, a bomb squad search and the detaining of a woman who may have become ill aboard the plane, no bomb was found.

However, officials discovered two pieces of a drinking straw about an-inch-and-a-half long with wires running through each. No explosive was present.

Authorities involved in the investigation said that while they still had not determined why the straws and wires were placed in the lavatory, it did not appear to even rise to the level of a hoax device made to look like a bomb with no explosive present.

The flight, Delta 126, returned to New York's JFK airport at 9:33 p.m., authorities said.

It was met by a Port Authority Police SWAT team that did a precision, heavy weapon entry onto the flight because the pilot had radioed the ground on his way back to say that there was a woman aboard who may have been a part of terror team.

The woman, who appeared to have become ill aboard the plane, was held for a time in an ambulance guarded by police.

Though details were still coming to light, it appeared that between the pilot's call and the fact that the wires were spotted by a member of an armed contingent of federal air marshals aboard the flight, authorities treated the incident as a potentially serious threat.

Passengers were taken off the flight in a "controlled evacuation," sources told ABC News. They were held in a terminal for questioning.

A law enforcement source told ABC News that after the suspicious items were found, "as precaution, the aircraft returned to JFK and passengers offloaded."

But when the plane was examined by law enforcement bomb technicians, the items determined to be non-explosive and non-incendiary.

The investigation continued, and passengers and crew were being interviewed by authorities -- but, officials stressed, "no one in custody, and there is no determination a crime was committed."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Delta Airlines Airport Flash Mob: Employees Get Their Groove On

Delta Airlines(NEW YORK) -- When was the last time an airline made you smile? A just-released YouTube video of Delta employees flash-mobbing around the country may do the trick. Employees at airports in Atlanta, New York City, Detroit and at the Technical Operations Center, also in Atlanta, got in on the fun.

The video starts out a little boring, with a few Delta employees singing a cheesy but nice song about “Delta and you” and the places you’ll go together. Then the video cuts to the crowd in Atlanta and...wham!  Delta flash mob!

One highlight is the flight attendant in the red dress in New York. She’s on the right, and ever so slightly out of step with the rest of the group. Check it out at about 2:42. She eventually gets in the groove. Also, the guy at tech ops with his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth at 3:42 is pretty awesome, as well.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Pilot Locked in Restroom Causes Mid-Air Terror Scare

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A pilot, a faulty lock on a bathroom door and a man with a thick foreign accent combined to turn a seemingly routine landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport into anything but on Wednesday night.

The scare began when the pilot of Delta flight 6132, traveling from Asheville, N.C., to New York City, decided to take a bathroom break when the plane was put into a holding pattern over New York. A faulty door latch on the airplane’s lavatory, however, kept the pilot trapped inside, and sent his co-pilot on high alert.

“We are 180 knots, 10,000 [feet], uh, can we leave the frequency for a minute, we are going to try to, uh, contact dispatch,” the co-pilot radioed in to air traffic control as he circled the plane above LaGuardia.

Just seconds earlier, a male passenger with a thick foreign accent tried to gain access to the cockpit to tell the co-pilot the captain wasn’t going to make the landing.

The passenger, one of 14 on board, was following the pilot’s instructions, delivered through the bathroom door, to go to the cockpit to alert the crew to his situation.

“I’m not just surprised that the captain would give a passenger the code,” said John Nance, an aviation consultant. “I’m kind of astonished.”

The surprise attempt to enter the highly secured cockpit alarmed the co-pilot, who did not buy the passenger’s story and who, again, radioed air traffic control.

“The captain has disappeared in the back and, uh, I have someone with a thick foreign accent trying to access the cockpit right now…,” the co-pilot reported.

“What I’m being told is he’s stuck in the lav,” the co-pilot continued.  “Someone with a thick foreign accent is giving me a password to access the cockpit, and I’m not about to let him in.”

Not willing to take any chances themselves, air controllers on the ground ordered the plane, operated by regional carrier Chautauqua Airlines, to make an emergency landing.

Before the co-pilot was forced to make that emergency landing, however, the pilot was able to open the bathroom door, and calm his anxious colleagues.

“The captain, myself, went back to the lavatory and the door latch broke and I had to fight my way out of it with my body to get the door open,” he explained to air traffic control.

“There is no issue, no threat,” he said.

Frank Cilluffo of the Homeland Security Institute at George Washington University said that the first officer did the right thing.

“At the end of the day it was an unknown person and an unknown voice trying to access the cockpit,” he said. “You don’t open the door.”

Sources tell ABC News that fighter planes were alerted to the situation, but not called into service.

The FBI and Port Authority cops were on the ground to meet the plane when it finally landed, safely, around 6:30 p.m.

No one was charged in the incident.  A spokesman for Chautauqua Airlines told the New York Post that cops talked to the passenger and realized it was all a misunderstanding.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Delta Airlines Passenger Tries to Open Emergency Door in Mid-Flight

Delta Airlines(BOSTON) -- An unruly passenger aboard a Boston-bound Delta flight was taken into custody Tuesday night after attempting to open an emergency exit door while the plane was in mid-air.

According to the airline, the passenger, who has not been identified, was subdued mid-flight by an off-duty police officer.  Delta Flight 1102, which originated in Orlando, Florida, was then able to continue its flight and landed safely at Boston Logan International Airport just after 10 p.m.

Upon landing, Massachusetts State Police took the disruptive passenger into custody.  The passenger was charged with interfering with a flight crew, and police said more charges may follow.

The Airbus 320 was carrying nearly 150 passengers and crew members on board but none of them appeared to be in any danger.  Delta said that air pressure in the plane's cabin wouldn't allow anyone to open the emergency exit door while in flight.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Delta Airlines: Rat Waste Found on Plane, FDA Sends Warning to Airline

Delta Airlines(WASHINGTON) -- Rats may have become a real-life horror story for Delta Airlines. FDA investigators say they found "rodent excreta pellets" in some Delta planes.

The Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter on April 13 to Delta Airlines CEO Richard Anderson, citing violations found during an inspection that took place between Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 at a Delta hanger near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

"This clearly was an isolated incident and we cooperated with the FDA immediately to resolve it earlier this year," said Delta's director of communications, Ashley Black.

Orkin Pest Control's director of technical services, Ron Harrison, agreed it was an isolated incident. "It's vigilance. It's being sensitive and aware."

The number of reported cases, he said, was "small, but unacceptable. Airlines have to take every precaution."

To comply with FDA regulations, all places where food is prepared, served or stored -- including airline cabins -- must be kept free of flies, rodents and other vermin.

The letter mentions "rodent excreta pellets (too numerous to count)" in ceiling panels and near food preparation areas.

"We believe a recurrence is likely without adequate preventive measures in place," said the FDA, calling for action to correct the violation.

Sometimes airlines will have one prevention program while their food vendors have another. "By having more than one pest control company, you need to have deterrence and monitors in all these spaces. You need correlation programs to ensure insuring populations are in none of the places airplanes will be," said Harrison.

"Rodents usually have four ways they can come into an airplane: the airports, jet ways, food carts or food vending companies, and cargo," said Harrison. "The challenge becomes a confined space like this, a perfect habitat for rodents."

Rodents and their feces can transmit over 35 different diseases to humans, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The health and safety of Delta's customers and employees are Delta's top priority. We take this issue very seriously and have an established routine servicing program to inspect our aircraft," said Delta in a written statement. "The aircraft was pulled from commercial service and the issue was resolved within a few days."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Pilot of JFK Emergency Landing Speaks Out

Photo Courtesy - Delta Airlines(LAKE MARY, Fla.) -- The pilot who successfully landed a jetliner with malfunctioning landing gear in New York Saturday -- effectively saving the lives of more than 60 passengers and crew -- spoke Wednesday for the first time to thank all those involved, including his company.

"I would like to acknowledge the excellent training that was received at Atlantic Southeast Airlines that was instrumental in preparing us to handle the emergency that we had Saturday night," Jack Conroyd told reporters, according to ABC News' Orlando affiliate WFTV.

Conroyd and co-pilot Larkin Newby were the pilots of Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight 4951 which was diverted to John F. Kennedy International Airport for the emergency landing. None of the 64 passengers on board the CRJ 900 twin-engine jet were injured and video of the harrowing skid to safety was caught on a cell phone camera of one of the passengers.

The airline is working with the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate the cause of the landing gear malfunction.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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