On Monday, July 17th, passengers aboard Delta flight 555 from Las Vegas to Atlanta endured an agonizing experience after idling at the gate for four hours; the flight was forced to return due to “multiple emergencies” reported by passengers.
As temperatures outside reached highs of 115 degrees and inadequate air conditioning prevailed inside the aircraft, the consequences were startling.
According to several reports, some passengers lost consciousness, while some suffered bowel control issues, and children were left in distress. The flight attendants attempted to mitigate the effects of the intense heat and oxygen deprivation by giving oxygen tanks to passengers who raised their call buttons to signify medical distress; several passengers were eventually wheeled off the plane on stretchers, with at least one flight attendant reportedly in need of a one as well.
The shock of the ordeal did not end there; the flight was eventually canceled, and those who chose to be rescheduled to 7 a.m. the following day arrived at the airport in the early hours of the following morning to discover that their flight had been canceled.
As it stands, neither Delta nor Harry Reid Airport have fully specified the course of action taken in response to the multiple medical emergencies reported on Monday night. However, Delta did release a statement offering remorse and apologies for the incident. Furthermore, they promised affected customers compensation and provided them access to alternative flights, although further compensation details have yet to be released.
The stories of passengers aboard Delta Flight 555 warn travelers of the paramount importance of air conditioning in aircrafts, particularly during high temperatures. It also emphasizes the requirement for airlines to be more forthcoming about the issues surrounding their flights and to adequately communicate with their customers.