Delta Air Lines Comes To The Rescue After Students Abandoned By American Airlines

Delta Air Lines, fortunately, came to the rescue for a group of students travelling to Washington. It has been reported that the children, in the fifth grade, were effectively abandoned by American Airlines, despite looking forward to the trip for over a year.

Delta rescues stranded passengers
Delta commandeered a partner’s CRJ-900 in order to fly the stranded passengers. Photo: Delta

It is fairly unusual to see airlines intervening in matters concerning other airlines. This is especially true when they haven’t been approached by the original airline. However, it seems as though this is the case in this particular incident. Indeed, it is certainly a situation which I would not expect to see myself when travelling.

What happened?

A group of 41 fifth grade students and their teachers were due to fly from Oklahoma City to Virginia on the 2nd June. The students were heading to Washington DC for a field trip that had been planned for over a year, but American Airlines unexpectedly cancelled the flight. This meant that the students were left stranded with no more than the promise of a refund.

This is where Delta Air Lines entered the picture and saved the day. The airline reportedly went above and beyond in helping another airline’s passengers. Indeed, the airline showed that you can put passengers needs above financial needs.

Delta Rescues Stranded American Airlines Passengers
Some of the group of stranded passengers rescued by Delta Air Lines. Photo: Delta

Delta’s charter flight

Delta proved that it had a heart by organising a replacement flight for the students stranded outside of their care. According to View From The Wing, the airline’s ground agents in Oklahoma contacted their management to see if anything could be done. and to maybe reroute them on a Delta flight. However, this is no easy feat when you need to fit 41 passengers onto flights at short notice.

Aware of this, Delta flew an aircraft to Oklahoma just to carry the students to their destination. Delta additionally flew the students directly to their destination, cutting out their flight connection. The whole incident took place on the 2nd of June, and despite being reported by the airline on the 3rd, has only just caught media attention. This was a great chance to generate good PR by doing the right thing by Delta.

“We see people”

Speaking regarding the rescue operation, Jeff Trainer who is a duty director in the airline’s operational control centre said,

“When we heard about this group of students booked on another airline that [was] stuck in Oklahoma City, there wasn’t even a consideration given to not making an effort in finding a solution.”

He went on to add “When we see people in a bind, we don’t see customers of one airline or another – we see people”. The passengers were certainly very lucky as this is not seen every day.

What do you think of Delta’s extraordinary rescue mission? Let us know in the comments!