Delta’s Day Of Disarray: Unbelievable Tale of Endless Errors And Delays

A series of mishaps and security concerns apparently happened to a Delta flight back in October, but is only coming to light now as a result of a viral TikTok.

Passengers were escorted through a restricted part of the airport, typically off-limits to passengers, by Delta employees and TSA staff. After passing through Customs and checking their luggage, the passengers encountered the first issue.

The group was mistakenly taken to the wrong airplane three separate times, being transported by bus to different planes.

When they eventually boarded the correct plane, they encountered another problem, waiting on the plane without clear information for about an hour. Apparently there was a security issue with the plane, which had arrived from an international destination. So passengers were then taken off this plane and spent another hour and a half on a bus.

Passengers then needed to go through TSA screening again, since they’d been on the aircraft. But some passengers had checked their carry-on bags containing their IDs. It took two hours for some to clear TSA, after getting their IDs back.

Finally they boarded the plane again – but it was too late because they no longer had time to fly and arrive before the destination airport’s curfew. So they had to wait three and a half more hours.

@0ginjaninja0 #airportnightmare #delta #deltafail #airlinefail #flightfail #airportfails #travelfails #deltaairlines #travel #travelfail #securityfail #airportlife ♬ original sound – 0GinjaNinja0

@0ginjaninja0 #airportnightmare #airportfail #deltafail #delta #deltaairlines #deltanightmare #traveltiktok #plane #part2 #travelfail ♬ original sound – 0GinjaNinja0

Who checks their ID, though? That seems really dumb. Although I know that sometimes people do it even on international flights. There have been stories of people landing, their luggage lost, and having difficulty at passport control. Go figure.

Without further details on the specific flight number involved it’s hard to verify the story completely, but there’s enough video to see that the narrative mostly tracks – the explanations may just be impressions of a passenger, based in some cases on second-hand information, rather than precisely on point from the airline.

(HT: Paul H)

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. Beyond “who checks their ID?” HOW does one check their ID? Bag drop is before TSA – where you need “just your ID or Passport, ma’am.”

    That looks like…SEATAC?

    And finally, was the “area off limits…” that minor interior construction? The written description makes it sound like they were traipsing through the SIDA.

    Still a debacle, but much clarity can be gained from the context clues in the video.

  2. Gary, this was “premium” airport experience that can only be delivered by the “delta difference.”

    Keep Climbing Everyone.

  3. This cannot have been Delta’s fault. They have the best management, the best planes, the best employees, the best everything. I can’t believe this was Delta. I just can’t. Where is Tim Dunn? Tim, are you there? Please overwhelm us once again with your multitude of statistics proving this could not have been Delta, it HAD to be a different airline which falls far short of Delta’s beyond compare everything. Tim, Say It Isn’t So!

  4. Delta venting it’s fumes after having to walk back tiny bit of recent program “enhancements”…Why people can’t appreciate?

  5. @Ben,
    The people without IDs must have had their bags gate checked because the plane ran out of overhead space. I’m guessing they put their ID in the bag pocket, possibly as they went through security, and forgot to get it out after security or before they found they had to gate check the bag. I usually put my ID in my personal item after showing it to security, but before the luggage x-ray. One time, when I put my phone in a pocket (with my ticket), I couldn’t find it after the x-ray. TSA was nice enough to run it through the x-ray again to show me that I was an idiot and couldn’t find it in my bag. In my defense, I was also trying to bring my mother with dementia in a wheelchair at the same time, and was distracted.

  6. Sounds like they were swapped to a plane that came from an international location but had not yet had its required security search. That would mean everybody off and TSA has the right to require rescreening of passengers and accessible property.

    Sounds like a couple basic mess ups caused an evening of frustration. I have seen similar happen before and depending on airport layout, they aren’t built for certain passenger journeys reverse of the usual way.

    Hope they made it safely to the right spacetechtuned astronaut-flown Delta sexijet.

  7. Neither Delta or any other US airline controls security checkpoints – that ended w 9/11.
    If Delta and/or the TSA was advised that a flight was not properly screened or any passengers on the flight had an unresolved screening issue, then everyone on the flight has to go through screening again.
    By NOT allowing the passengers into the terminal and sending them through the “bowels” of the airport to get to rescreening, Delta and the TSA avoided rescreening everyone.

    This has happened at other airports and with other airlines.

    Flights have also not been fully cleared by CBP and if this flight originated in Canada, it is possible that it boarded from a non-US destination gate in Canada.

    Other than the confusion about where to go after clearing, which is on DL and its bus contractors, there is nothing unique or on DL – perhaps there genuinely was a mechanical on the intended flight – but nothing definite is known.

  8. Oh wow , so this Delbacle is only hitting social media now?
    Their big broom.didn’t sweep this completely under the rug. ha!!!
    But we still dont know the city pair, airport or flight(s) details

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