Delta Flight Diverts to Salt Lake City Due to “Unruly Crew”

Friday’s Delta flight DL2598 from Los Angeles to Minneapolis, at 37,000 feet 180 nautical miles south of Salt Lake City, diverted with the pilot telling air traffic control that “he wanted to hear from his flight attendants.”

Forty minutes later the plan was on the ground. After an 80 minute delay the flight continued to Minneapolis.

So what happened?

  • “A passenger reported that three cabin crew were sent off due to ‘bad behaviour’

  • Delta sent passengers an apology note,

    …some of our team members did not display their best behavior. We expect our flight crew to be nothing but courteous and professional at all times and what you experienced was far from that. I am sorry we didn’t deliver on our brand promise for you today.

A diversion to Salt Lake made sense for Delta, because presumably they picked up additional crew to continue with the flight.

However it’s striking that Delta believes the problem here was a failure to deliver on their brand promise. Which is what, exactly, that crew shouldn’t behave in a manner as to endanger the aircraft and cause a diversion? I really don’t think marketing-speak is the issue here.

Nonetheless it’s almost always passengers going berserk, like the 24 year old who attacked another passenger and then died prior to landing or the one who kicked and bit flight crew after being denied access to the premium cabin lavatory. Or the woman dragged off a United Express flight when she refused to put her dog in a carrier. ‘Air rage’ doesn’t even always involve the Knee Defender. But it’s usually the passengers instigating things. And when it’s the crew, it’s the pilots. So this seemed somewhat noteworthy.

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. If the pilot wants to hear from the flight attendants, I recommend they consider using the flight interphone system.

  2. Let’s hear from a few pax on the flight.

    While not as often as pax rage occurs, there is no shortage of crew issues. Here is a UA incident which caused diversion.

    The B6 slide incident, cited above, remains a favorite of mine.

  3. That must have been the loud noises I heard flying overhead Friday night…just assumed it was a party down the street 🙂

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