Emergency Slide ‘Explodes’ Inside Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 After Flight Diverts To Salt Lake City

Delta Air Lines flight from New York JFK to Los Angeles made an emergency landing in Salt Lake City on Saturday. And then, once on the ground, the plane’s emergency slide deployed — inside the aircraft. Passengers heard an explosion, and screams from a flight attendant.

The 7 a.m. Boeing departure was on the ground in Salt Lake long enough for passengers to deplane. By 1 p.m. local time maintenance issues were addressed, passengers were re-boarded, and they were ready to get on their way.

That’s when a slide at the back of the aircraft was deployed accidentally at the gate, hitting a member of the cabin crew in the head. The flight attendant was hospitalized. Reportedly caterers deployed the slide, and the flight attendant was determined to be ok and discharged.

According to Delta Air Lines,

Delta flight 520, operating from New York-JFK to Los Angeles diverted to Salt Lake City due to a maintenance issue.

While on the ground, the same aircraft’s slide was deployed by accident. In an effort to get our customers to their final destination as quickly and safely as possible, they have been re-accommodated on a new aircraft. We apologize for the delay to their traveling plans. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and people.

Passengers were offered 7,500 SkyMiles as an apology for the issue.

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 »

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  1. Passengers earned 7,500 Delta SkyMiles when their aircraft was operated with one or more inoperative toilets or a broken seatback entertainment system. This Delta flight with an inoperative and discharged aircraft escape slide creates an out-of-compliance airliner because the aircraft is below the minimum equipment list requirement to operate a safe flight. Passengers should know that Delta Airlines is always committed to continuous quality improvement and employee and passenger safety.

  2. John, haha, so true or 1/10 of the skypesos needed for a one way flight from jfk to ewr.

  3. @Gary… how could caterers deploy the slide from the outside ? Sure maybe it malfunctioned but read how you wrote it. Makes no sense. Slides cannot be activated from the outside.

  4. @SMR. Safety first. Having an inadvertent slide deployment depends on the aircraft. An inadvertent aircraft escape slide deployment will ruin your afternoon and cause a flight delay. For your reading enjoyment, I have included some additional reference materials to help prevent inadvertent slide deployments.

    More info: https://safetyfirst.airbus.com/preventing-inadvertent-slide-deployments/

    The FAA discussed inadvertent slide deployments at the 3rd Triennial International Aircraft Fire
    and Cabin Safety Research Conference in Atlantic City.


    Here is a solution to warn passengers to avoid leaning on the aircraft escape slide activation lever.


  5. I read and reread this article several times and couldn’t make sense of it, then I realized that the second paragraph appears out of order. It should be last.

    @SMR, That last (or second) paragraph is not the clearest, but I am guessing that the door was armed when the caterers tried to open it. Although that said, either way the slide should have shot OUT and not IN.

  6. Deltas generosity continues to be awe inspiring
    I think the trash bag given to the homeless may be more generous than Deltas gesture
    Just think if the plane crashed your relatives may get 15,000 bonus miles
    In 30 years they may have earned enough for a one way ticket to Detroit

  7. So what was the reason plane made an emergency landing in SLC? This happened on the ground once the maintenance issues were resolved?

  8. Remember, Delta “gets you there”. That fact that their planes are falling apart, are old and your scared out of wits is a completely separate situation.

  9. If the slide was not yet disarmed and the caterer released the handle it would deploy the slide. As it did. The caterers are to check to see if it’s armed before attempting to open the door.

  10. No question, DL is the best of the big 3. I’m a 2M miler, and have over 1m skypesos in my account. No question that for intl trips the pesos are worthless

  11. Yikes! I can imaging the slide deploying slowed down beverage service in F. LOL! Happy there were no major injuries.

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