Delta Flight From New York to France Turns Back Halfway Due to Faulty Toilet

What’s the most embarrassing thing that could happen to you on a flight? Being travel sick? Getting drunk and propositioning the flight attendant? Or, perhaps, blocking the toilet so bad that the whole flight and it’s 300 passengers have to return to their point of origin? Well, that’s exactly what happened on board a Delta New York to France flight this week.

delta new york to france
Now that’s a crazy flight path, right? Source: FlightAware

The typical time for a Delta flight between JFK and Nice Cote d’Azur (NCE) usually takes around seven hours and 20 minutes. For the unlucky passengers aboard flight DL412 this week, however, they spent a little longer in the air, touching down after seven hours and 36 minutes. The really unlucky part – they were back at JFK.

Can you imagine? Spending longer on board than you thought you would only to discover you’ve been on a flight to… well… nowhere. Even worse was the reason for the Delta flight diversion: a blocked-up toilet!


Although no fingers of blame were pointed, you can be sure that all eyes on the plane were seeking out those who had visited the conveniences prior to the diversion taking place. For the guilty party, it must have been excruciatingly embarrassing to realise that their untimely deposit had disrupted the travel plans of 300 people.


To add insult to injury, celebrity host, author and producer Andy Cohen happened to be on board, and Instagrammed the whole Delta flight diversion episode (in somewhat gruesome detail) to his 2m+ followers. Videoing the multitude of passengers back at JFK waiting for a new flight, he suggested that the guy (or gal) responsible should sacrifice themselves and make themselves known. Unsurprisingly, the guilty party never did come forward. Would you?

Not the first faulty toilet on a Delta flight

It seems that when it comes to toilet trouble, it’s not the first time Delta have been left in the doo-doo. Back in December, a Delta flight from Kennedy Airport heading to Seattle had to make an emergency landing in Montana due to a problem in the bathrooms. Apparently, a number of the passengers needed to ‘go really bad’ and couldn’t make it to Seattle without a break.


When it comes to suffering from a faulty toilet Delta flights aren’t the only ones affected. Also in December last year, an American Airlines flight between Charlotte and San Francisco had to divert to Denver due to a clog in the bog.  And, in January, Norwegian Flight DY1156 had to return to Oslo because of a block, despite there being more than 80 professional plumbers on board!

Right now, a lot of airlines are looking to tackle fuel price rises by opting to increase the number of seats on board. Often this is at the cost of the size of the toilets. We just hope that these shrinking WC’s don’t come with smaller pipes too!

Did the Delta New York to France flight make it in the end?

Despite their earlier problems, passengers were indeed reallocated onto a new aircraft bound for France. We’re not sure whether the captain had a word about no number twos on flight number two before boarding the plane, but somehow they made it safely without any other waste related incidents.

Although this is a great outcome for the 299 long suffering passengers of flight DL412 (and the one cringingly guilty one), a burning question remains: If they were almost half way when the poop caused a problem, how come they couldn’t unclog their bathrooms in France?


Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Neil mascolo

My wife and I were on that flight and I’m sorry we were far more than halfway to Nice! The culprit was a diaper from an inconsiderate pasngr. The only reason for the turnaround was so as not to inconvenience the flight crew who may have gotten stuck in Nice. That’s why we turned back. Believe nothing else!!!!