Drunk Screener Caught at Newark, and Flying Alone on a Plane

News and notes from around the interweb:

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. One time I was the only passenger on probably the shortest commercial flight ever. Was flying from San Francisco to Orlando and flight cancelled so booked the next day thru Denver with a stop in Oakland and the only passenger to Oakland (really a ferry flight) and I timed the ground to ground time and it was 60 seconds. Took off to the east and flew over SF Bay landing to the east and wheels touch down in 60 seconds. Didn’t get all the special announcements as there wasn’t time. A flight to remember!!!!

  2. Much like you, I’ve had the F cabin empty, although it’s rare. Most recently I used points to book a family vacation and we flew my favorite hard product (I know we disagree here), the sadly disappearing Lufthansa 747-400 upper deck.

    Both ways the three of us were the only passengers in the cabin! Given that there are 2 FA and the occasional purser, and three lavs, there’s no shortage of service.

  3. In the mid 1990s Delta had a flight ATL-MIA-FLL, there must have been 5 of us left on the plane after the stop in MIA. Flight attendants checked out, told us to sit wherever we wanted and then they kept to themselves for the flight. Even though it was a 727 it was a nice little flight.

  4. It has to be expected that parts of Delta planes are falling off on the takeoff roll. Delta has the oldest fleet of the major airlines. When the budget airlines replace their Junkers, they sell them to Delta, who has never seen a plane from which they couldn’t squeeze a few more trips ro save money.

  5. I had one domestic flight with only 3 passengers, although that was a 100 seat regional jet into Baton Rouge shortly after hurricane Katrina. The most deserted flight I ever took had 12 passengers on a Boeing 777. That was last year on a flight from Male to Guangzhou on China Southern. That one was just weird and eerie.

  6. About 15 years ago, I was on a Delta flight from Dallas to Louisville with a stop in Nashville. Everyone else deplaned in Nashville, so I was the sole passenger for the short hop to Louisville.

    Pretty cool having personalized attention from all of the flight attendants, not to mention, they “forced” me to move up to first class.

  7. Got an upgrade to the cockpit jumpseat once as the only passenger on a regional prop flight. Probably violates some FAA rule or whatever but it was incredibly cool.

  8. I had the F cabin to myself on ZRH-YUL a couple of years ago. 3 FAs for 1 passenger (although they did end up helping out in Y/J instead).

    @rallydave: There’s a regular commercial service in the Orkneys from WRY-PPW which is 1.7 miles over 47 seconds – makes the 11 miles from SFO-OAK look like a long-haul in comparison!

  9. Many, many years ago I flew military standby from San Francisco to St.Louis on a TWA flight. I was the only passenger on the plain. Being young and in a Coast Guard officer’s uniform, I received lots of attention from the lovely stewardesses. (Yes, they were called stewardesses then.) Alas, the plane was going on to Chicago, which was where the women were stationed. Sigh…

  10. Many years ago, during an American Airlines strike a colleague and I were able to get on a rescheduled American flight from Syracuse to New York. Apparently, it had scheduled without notice and we were the only passengers. Not only did they seat us in the first class cabin, but it was a beautiful night and the flight crew invited us into the cockpit (obviously pre Sept. 11th) once the seat belt signs were on. The view as the plane approached New York was magnificent and I appreciated why pilots love to fly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *