A Delta Air Lines flight from Ghana to New York made an emergency landing at a small airport on a remote island in the Atlantic Ocean — where the passengers were left stranded for 12 hours while the entire Delta flight crew were “whisked away” to hotels, according to the Daily Beast. When passengers tried to get help from airport staff at Lajes Airport in Terceira, reps told them it was out of their hands (watch video below).
Most of the passengers, without visas, were trapped in just a small section of the airport, much of the time without food or drinks — except for water offered from the bathroom sinks.
“We were abandoned by Delta and treated like encroaching roaches by airport representatives on Terceira Islands,” one of the passengers said. Fun times.
Just a few hours after taking off from Ghana on Friday, Flight 157 was diverted from its New York destination to the island of Terceira after a “mechanical issue with a backup oxygen system,” a Delta spokesperson told Insider.
The 215 passengers spent much of their time on the island without food, water, or updates from staff, according to accounts posted by several passengers on social media.
One passenger, Nana Asante-Smith, wrote on Facebook that she and her fellow passengers experienced a “reckless disregard for human life and well-being.”
For hours, passengers had to drink water from bathroom faucets until a cafe opened later in the day, Asante-Smith wrote, adding that some ham sandwiches were later distributed to the dissatisfaction of many Muslim travelers with dietary restrictions.
And from Insider:
Asante-Smith said they arrived at around 6 a.m., and that the air crew were soon shuttled away to a hotel, while passengers were told to remain and tried to contact Delta for more information.
“We were trying to reach out to Delta during this time, and ascertain what exactly was going on to no avail,” Asante-Smith said. …
She said passengers were “befuddled” by the response from airport representatives, and for hours didn’t receive information from Delta on what they could expect.
When one elderly passenger asked for water bottles, he was told by a female airport staff that they could drink water from faucets in the bathrooms, Asante-Smith said. But none of them had cups, and few had water bottles, she added.
The same staff told the passengers, many of whom are Black, multiple times that they shouldn’t “start a revolution” and that they should “be grateful at a second chance at life,” Asante-Smith said.