Old Delta MD88 Fills With Smoke In Flight

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An old MD88 plane carrying 89 passengers from Fort Lauderdale to New York (LGA) filled with smoke on Thursday. The plane had to divert due to smoke filling the cabin.

Old Delta Plane


The MD88 diverted to Charleston a little over 1 hour after departure. Fabio, one of the passengers, reported that they landed and all passengers were safe. Fabio even has a short 3 second video of the smoke in the cabin.

It will be interesting to read the report on what caused the smoke to fill the cabin. I’ve only been on one flight when smoke filled the cabin. Thankfully it was when the engines started and we were still on the ground. That was with US Airways. This flight was with Delta, and an old plane with Delta at that. I can’t imagine being in the air and smoke filling the cabin.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer the 737 over this plane. I know they are the work horse of Delta since Delta is the largest operator of the planes, and Delta was the first to take delivery, but I’d prefer to fly a 737 or anyday over this bird.

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. What does the jet’s age have to do with it? 787’s have been catching on fire left and right. Do you have some evidence that the age of the jet caused this issue, or are you just pursuing an agenda against Delta?

  2. I have to agree. For anyone who’s been on both a Delta MD-88 and an American MD-82/83, it is a night and day difference. American’s fleet is nasty and dingy at best, whereas Delta has taken excellent care of these birds. That’s why they’re still the workhorse of the fleet. There may be some physical limitations that the aircraft can’t solve (eg small overhead bins on one side), but it’s overall a very reliable and comfortable aircraft. And unless I’m seated in first class, I have no interest in Delta’s 737s. There are too many better options, including the MD-88/90.

  3. Sorry, Austin S, but I think that what you’re saying is irrelevant. Smoke on the plane has nothing to do with the size of the overhead bins or how nice the aircraft looks inside. It has to do with the mechanical condition of the aircraft and with the maintenance. How do you know that Delta’s MD-88 are in better mechanical shape and better maintained than American’s MDs? Have you looked in their maintenance log books and had walkarounds with the pilots?
    I can also keep my car’s interior in super shape but not go to service and oil changes at all.

  4. Not a bad point Nachshol, so let’s look at a metric that is actually tracked. Completion performance and on-time performance. After all, if your jets are poorly maintained, they will break more often and not be ready to fly more often, do you agree?

    Which major airline has the best completion performance and on time performance for the year?

  5. Had this happen years ago on an AA flight accompanied by an emergency evacuation. Turned out that the problem was the AC compressors spewing out smoke. Had the same thing happen, with the same problem on Delta a few years later as we were taxiing to the g

  6. I’m with you on the MD80 family not being a nice ride. It feels just as cramped as a regional jet, but half the plane has to deal with middle seats. I prefer an ERJ 170/75 over all, but a 737 sure beats an MD 80.

  7. 737’s are overrated. I have always found the MD-88/90 to be a much more comfort aircraft. Greater legroom, and much greater padding on the seats. On the technical side of things, these aircraft are built like tanks and made to last. Even at their current age, I guarantee they’ll still outlast a 737, A320 etc.

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