Delta passengers stranded on a Portuguese island for 12 hours were told by airport staff to “be grateful” that the plane they were on did not crash.
The travelers were on a flight from Ghana to New York on Friday when the plane was diverted to the Portuguese island of Terceira due to a “mechanical issue with a backup oxygen system,” a Delta spokesman said Business Insider.
Oxygen in the cabin and cockpit was not affected, but the plane landed at Lajes Airport out of “an abundance of caution.”
Passengers took to social media to describe how staff treated them after they were placed in a closed area of the airport for 12 hours.
“We were abandoned by Delta and treated like invading cockroaches by airport officials in the Terceira Islands,” Nana Asante-Smith wrote on Facebook in a now-removed post.
She said they arrived around 6 a.m. and while the flight crew was taken to a hotel, the passengers were taken to a “segregated area” where they were told to stay.
“During this time we tried in vain to reach Delta and find out exactly what was going on,” Asante-Smith said.
Airport staff told passengers they would receive a meal and that a plane from Boston would be there in a few hours.
But according to Asante-Smith, no meals arrived, so after “begging and pleading,” they ended up with ham sandwiches, juice boxes and crackers.
“This is interesting because anyone who is very familiar with West Africa or our Muslim brothers and sisters knows that many people have dietary restrictions when eating pork,” Asante-Smith said.
When an elderly passenger asked for water, an airport employee pointed him to the bathroom sinks.
The same employee was caught on video telling passengers not to “start a revolution” and to “be grateful for a second chance at life.”
“This representative told us we should be grateful that they allowed us to be here and our plane didn’t crash in the ocean,” passenger Kiaundra Smith captioned the clip.
She added in the clip that the word “revolution” was “inflammatory” and suggested she “shouldn’t have used that word.”
A plane arrived at around 6 p.m., 12 hours after landing in Terceira.
Ghanaian rapper Sakordie, who was also on the flight, apologized to his fans on X for missing an event in Detroit due to the diversion.
“It was unfortunate, but I know these things happen, so I wasn’t upset even though they communicated poorly and didn’t have the courtesy to let us know exactly what was happening,” he wrote.
“This is nothing new with this airline, particularly from this part of the world (Africa),,” he continued. “They continue to send us these flimsy old flights (business class almost the same as economy) to pick us up, knowing full well they are not safe but still risking lives.”
The Delta spokesperson told Insider that the 215 customers on Flight 157 in Terceira received meals and confirmed the 12-hour wait for another plane.
They also said passengers received a refund.
Passengers aboard Delta plane describe diarrhea
The Delta flight had a hard but safe landing in North Carolina with no equipment deployed
Delta flight diverted to Boston due to “unruly” passengers
https://torontosun.com/news/world/be-grateful-stranded-delta-passengers-told-they-should-be-happy-plane-did-not-crash Stranded Delta passengers said they should be glad the plane didn’t crash