Delta Passenger Puts Down Mattress And Goes To Sleep At The Gate

A Delta Air Lines passenger was seen dozing on a thick blow up air mattress beside Orlando’s gate 94 prior to their flight to Atlanta. Based on the flight number on the board, Delta 9897, this would have been an extra section flown Atlanta to Orlando and back with a widebody Airbus A330 on Sunday evening.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Delta passenger have to put down a mattress pad to sleep at the gate, but I haven’t seen anyone quite so ambitious with the sheer size and thickness of what they’ve blown up as the Orlando passenger before.

On the other hand we’ve often seen passengers dozing in a hammock at their gates.

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. Wait…if the story is true, that passenger had to have left home toting a fairly large, bulky carry-on (containing an air mattress this size) because he was planning to sleep in the terminal on it. No one in their right mind would pack something that bulky (even when completely deflated) on the off-chance their flight might be delayed/cancelled.

  2. Very resourceful and the sad truth of flying lately. That mattress fits in a backpack.
    Maybe he should consider bringing a small toaster oven or hot plate to get something decent and reasonably priced to eat.

  3. About 10 years ago, I landed at Los Angeles around 10 pm and had a horrible overnight connection. The connecting flight didn’t depart until 8-ish in the morning. I hung out in the Sky Club until they closed around midnight and then went down to one of the gates and slept on the floor behind the gate house desk. It worked. I woke around 6 am. The mattress pad would have been handy.

    Another time I did a mileage run in the good days of mileage runs to Gothenburg, Sweden. I landed mid-morning and departed the following morning on the first flight to Amsterdam on KLM. Instead of getting a hotel room, I ended up sleeping in the backset of a demo Volvo car that was on display in the airport terminal.

  4. “but I haven’t seen anyone quite so ambitious with the sheer size and thickness of what they’ve blown up as the Orlando passenger before.”

    Allegiant gets hold of this comment and you’ll be booted from their flights!

  5. I did this once with a 24 hr delay and 0 rooms available. Luckily i was going for a beach trip and had a pool float and portable handheld blower in my carry on. The 2 together take up less space than a phone book (if you remember those). Not a bad idea on really busy/bad weather connections.

  6. Odd, unless the passenger had been traveling and was on a long layover. He could have planned accordingly. At many airports they’d probably not even allow someone to sleep like that. I almost booked my mother on a flight with an overnight layover. At my airport you would need to fly to a hub to go any where beyond the host city.

  7. As Gary noted, this was an extra section on Sunday night, the day before the possible fuel shortages would have kicked in.
    Delta used an A330-300 which is easily capable of carrying enough fuel from Atlanta for the roundrip.
    I don’t believe Delta ended up cancelling any flights on Monday or Tuesday from Orlando; there were very few at the airport as a whole.
    The guy could well have come prepared to wait to get out.
    Airlines rent space from the airport authority; they do not set rules about how customers can act in the gate areas.
    If they believe what is being done violates law, they can call the police.
    The guy was wanting to be seen by making his bed where everyone could see him.
    Looks like he has slippers next to the bed for a nice touch of home.

  8. I have read this here and at LALF and am surprised no one considered maybe the passenger was carrying it because he was traveling for the holidays and brought it along for that reason. These mattresses are basically “plug and play.” They inflate in a minute or two and fit in carry ons easily. If someone were going to a big family gathering or something where there were no extra beds, this would make sense. That may not be it at all, and maybe he had it because Delta is Delta. But there are reasonable explanations. This mattress is great, but it’s $50 and travels well (esp that twin size).

  9. @Tim Dunn
    Helane Becker says “United is still the best airline stock going into 2023.” You should take her advice and divest your DAL holdings and purchase UAL stock.

    After reading your biased bearish thesis of UAL on S.A., I am lining up a new $100k position in UAL. 🙂

    Then no one will need to sleep on that inflated mattress at MCO because they will be flying on comfortable aircraft to destinations that matter. 🙂

  10. Marco,
    Since United is the smallest of the top 7 airlines in Florida – Alaska can be excused for not being much in Florida – you won’t go far on United in Florida.

    And my articles on Seeking Alpha have nailed it in terms of the fall in UAL stock. Too bad you didn’t use my advice to make some money as some did

    btw, United made fuel stops leaving Orlando while other airlines managed to operated their entire schedule nonstop.
    The guy was probably a United passenger that ended up managing to get out on Delta but was prepared to camp out because he had a ticket on another airline.

    The great fuel crisis in Orlando turned out to be a dud but it attracted some media wannabes and laid down yet another line between the men and the boys in the airline industry

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