Man boards Delta flight home, discovers he is the only passenger on the plane

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ATLANTA — A man had a unique experience on a Delta flight Tuesday. He was the only passenger on the plane.

Steven Schneider, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, told WSB-TV he arrived at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport and saw no passengers waiting at his gate.

While he was at the gate, a Delta flight attendant asked him if he would like to go home the next day since he would be the only passenger on the flight.

Other passengers were scheduled to be on flight 2426 but decided to take other flights or return the next day because the flight had been delayed a couple of times.

Schneider opted to keep his original reservation, so he had the entire flight to himself.

“At first I felt really bad, because I didn’t want the plane to only make the trip because of me,” he told WSB-TV. “But after talking to a flight attendant at the gate, she said the plane needed to go back to Atlanta anyway. She called this an empty leg flight.”

The flight attendant told him she’d never seen something like this in 17 years, he said.

Delta issued the following statement:

“We’re glad this customer enjoyed a somewhat rare solo experience. Other customers were accommodated on an earlier departure. The reason we operated the flight was so this customer could have that airplane positioned back in Atlanta so it could be in place for a departure the next day.”

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  • Andrew

    Back when I used to fly in and out of GR Ford airport I was frequently one of two or three people on a Delta flight, and several times the only one. I wondered why, and that is when I found out how much cheaper it is to fly in and out of virtually every other airport in the region. Now I pretty much just use Detroit, and drive the difference. I can pay for a rental car between here and there so that I don’t have to deal with parking, and still end up saving a lot of money. Once in awhile if I need a few hours of “me time” I will take the train to Chicago and fly out of O’Hare. That is a wash money-wise, but I love train travel and it doesn’t take any longer than driving over there does.

    Today’s economy being what it is, I just can’t justify spending that much more money to use GR Ford. Not when the only difference is just me driving for a couple hours. They said when Allegiant came in that it would lower fares. They said the same when Southwest came in. When it didn’t happen they said that fares are based on how many people use the airport, and fares wouldn’t go down unless ridership went up. Ridership has gone up for the last several years. Fuel prices have gone down. Routes have been eliminated. Yet flying in and out of GR Ford remains vastly more expensive than any other airport in the region, and for no good reason.

    • Cindy

      There’s something to be said for convenience and simplicity sometimes too. I love flying out of Kalamazoo airport because it’s so small and so easy to get around. You can check in and get through security in about 5 minutes, then it’s peaceful while waiting to board because there’s not a lot of foot traffic. For me, that’s worth spending the extra money :)

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