Delta Air Lines Boeing 777 Diverts After Suffering Vibrations

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 777 diverted to Boston on January 9th after experiencing inflight engine vibrations. The aircraft was operating a special flight from Las Vegas to Paris when, just prior to starting a transatlantic crossing, engine vibrations forced the crew to divert to Boston Logan International Airport.

Delta Air Lines 777
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 777 diverted to Boston after facing inflight engine vibrations. Photo: Delta Air Lines

The incident

The Aviation Herald reports that DL148 from Las Vegas to Paris on January 9, 2020, was getting ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean when a loud noise occurred, followed by vibrations. The crew made the decision to divert.

According to data from FlightAware, the crew made this decision just prior to the start of the aircraft’s transatlantic crossing. About 90 minutes after the vibrations began, the plane landed in Boston on runway 33L.

After landing, the crew informed emergency services that the aircraft had an aft cargo runaway with temperatures dropping in the back. Thankfully, Delta did not report any injuries due to this incident. Reportedly, passengers were told that this may have been due to a burst air conditioning pipe.

flight path of dl148
The aircraft diverted to Boston just before starting the transatlantic crossing. Photo: FlightAware

As a result of this diversion, passengers needed a new way to get to Paris. Delta then ferried another Boeing 777 to Boston to take the passengers to Paris. The final delay ended up being about seven hours.

The nature of this Delta Air Lines 777 flight

Las Vegas to Paris is not a regular route for Delta Air Lines. Instead, Delta added some special flights between the two cities for CES 2020. Moreover, Delta CEO Ed Bastian was one of the keynote speakers at the event. The Atlanta-based airline had a lot to announce at the event including a new “binge button” for inflight entertainment.

Delta Boeing 777
Delta added some special 777 flights for CES 2020. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Paris is a major hub for Delta’s transatlantic joint venture partner Air France. Air France does not operate a direct link between Las Vegas and Paris. So, Delta stepped in to shuttle passengers between the two cities and beyond on Air France connections. Delta’s other close transatlantic partners, KLM and Virgin Atlantic, operate flights connecting Las Vegas to each airline’s hubs in Amsterdam and London-Heathrow respectively.

The aircraft

Delta flies two different types of Boeing 777 aircraft: the 777-200ER and the 777-200LR. N864DA, according to Delta’s Boeing 777 fleet list, is a Boeing 777-200ER that is just over 20 years old. It was delivered to Delta in December 1999.

N864DA 777 vibrations
N864DA– the aircraft involved in the incident. Photo: Marvin Mutz via Flickr

Onboard, Delta outfits the Boeing 777 with four different experiences. Delta has put in 28 Delta One Suites, followed by 48 Delta Premium Select seats which I reviewed back in 2018, 90 Delta Comfort+ seats, and 122 Main Cabin seats for a total of 288 passengers.

Delta One Suites
There are 28 Delta One Suites onboard Delta’s Boeing 777 aircraft. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Were you onboard this flight? What happened? Let us know in the comments!

Delta was not immediately available for comment for this story. This article will be updated as necessary.