Man Videotapes the Best Day of His Life as the Only Passenger on a Delta Flight

I’ve flown alone in first class many times, for instance flying Singapore Airlines from Singapore to Paris, Thai Airways from Bangkok to Tokyo, and ANA from Chicago to Tokyo. As a kid I flew New York – Cincinnati with maybe 3 other passengers on the plane (I was an unaccompanied minor).

On January 1, 2000 (“Y2K”) people were staying away from planes but I flew United Los Angeles – Washington Dulles and business class was upgraded to first, economy to business, while they recalculated weight and balance.

Last week a man documented the experience of flying Delta from Aspen to Salt Lake City by himself aboard Delta Express flight DL3652 operated by SkyWest. Boarding was announced at the gate as being for him. He captures the surreal experience of a predeparture announcement being made over the PA system by a flight attendant when he’s the only one in the cabin. He gets to meet the pilots. He’s sitting up front, with a predeparture beverage.

Twitter’s reaction, though? They think one of the pilots is pretty attractive.

It’s a cool experience when you get super personalized attention – spoiled even – by a flight attendant. And being alone in a plane is unusual. However it’s just a 292 mile flight.

I’ll admit though the experience was pretty amazing flying private for the much shorter Houston to Austin, so this had to be 292 miles of pure bliss.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Once, I was the only passenger in First Class on Etihad from AUH-NRT. I thought that was pretty special ( this was the only time I actually wanted to marry, or at least date, the flight attendant….but I didn’t want to be seen as “that guy” so we’ll never know what could have been). I can’t imagine having an entire plane to myself.

  2. I had a similar experience flying from Caracas to Curacao
    But I found out I was flying with the daughter of a general (Venezuela)
    And since I was talking to her at the airport I went on her plane while the other 100 or so passengers took a similar Boeing 707

  3. Closest I’ve been to this was being one of three pax from MIA to BOS on an MD-80 (evening flight). I wondered why my agent hadn’t booked me on the A300 that left 10 minutes earlier; upon boarding I knew why. We were all upgraded to first and treated to all of the service inherent to that status. Maybe even more than normal because we each had our own FA on that one!

  4. The night before the first gulf war, I was flying from Frankfurt to Tokyo on JAL, first class. There was only one other passenger in first, Madame Doi ( Japanese politician)who had just came out of Baghdad having net with Sadam Hussein and failing to get him to leave Kuwait. There were a few people in Business and also just a few in economy. There were more flight crew than passengers . In first we had four flight attendants handling the two of us. Most surreal, but an amazing flight.

  5. If flying a couple hundred miles alone on an airplane was the “Best Day of His Life” I feel really sad for him.

  6. There was a famous story of a bride coming from Hong Kong to London. To the best of my recollection, the flight was substantially delayed so most of the passengers rescheduled or made alternative arrangements. This young woman, either because of lack of knowledge or, more likely superstition, did not make any changes. She ultimately was the only passenger on a 747.

  7. Has anyone else not realized this is an AA jet he recorded everything inside? Those are unmistakably AA seats – something doesn’t add up here…

  8. I flew alone on a regional plane back in Jan 2002 on Northwest from Iowa to Minneapolis (ALO-MSP). Middle of winter combined with being a few months after 9/11, I’m guessing it wasn’t all that unusual to have an empty plane on smaller routes.

    With only economy seats, I sat near the back of the plane as I thought that was the coolest part of the plane to be in as a 14 year old!

  9. Decades ago when flights from Cedar Rapids to Chicago occasionally stopped in Waterloo, I was the only person on the first leg of the flight. I was told to “sit anywhere you like“ so I did. We landed at Waterloo and a man boarded and came up to me and said “you’re in my seat “. I laughed, thinking he was joking about the situation but he wasn’t. He was serious. His boarding pass had my seat number. He made me move.

  10. I was one of three passengers on a LAS-SBA flight about 15 years ago. Unfortunately, the weather was crap (which is why it was so empty…almost all the incoming connections at LAS were cancelled or delayed), so instead of personalized service, we got none at all, with the FAs remaining seated the whole flight.

  11. Ethan, that’s a SkyWest CRJ700. Sometimes the interiors of the aircraft owned by the regional carriers do not 100% match the branding/styling of their mainline partner. This might be due to the aircraft being acquired used or a fleet reassignment. Interior retrofits, spare aircraft, and schedule do not always perfectly align. With the way that the mainline carriers change up their regional partners when they don’t like rising costs (e.g., labor, contracts), this makes a lot of sense. Who knows? Maybe this CRJ700 was a formerly used for American Eagle or United Express flights. SkyWest operates the CRJ700 for all three major carriers.

    To be fair, I too was a little thrown off by the black seats. The SkyWest E175s I’ve flown out of SLC have always had the blue Delta interior.

  12. flew that same route but plane full in June! the only problem was that flight from Chicago arrived over 40 minutes late as pilots stuck in chicago traffic so missed the flight had a 9 HOUR wait in the airport…FUNN

  13. I flew from Khabarovsk, Russia to Narita in 2012 on Vladivostok AIr and there were 4 passengers and 4 flight attendants.

  14. I was the only passenger on an AC Beechcraft 1900D from MDT to YYZ. I’ve also sat in the jump seat on an AC DH1 from YQG-YYZ ( pre 9-11) flying at night. Both great experiences.

  15. yesterday on LGB-SLC my 14 year old son, who wants to be a commercial pilot, spent about 10 min before the flight sitting in the left seat and chatting with the pilots about his future. It was wonderful and strengthened his resolve to pilot aircraft! Thx to Captain Dave and First Officer Greg!

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