I’m headed down to St. Kitts for the week to check out the new Park Hyatt St. Kitts, and was pleased to be taking Delta as they recently launched Saturday only service from New York (JFK) to St. Kitts.
We were originally supposed to depart at 8:35am this morning, but didn’t leave till nearly 10am as the aircraft was late to arrive at the gate, fueling had to occur, and we were awaiting a tug to push up back. Nearly 2 hours after our original departure time we took off.
However, about 35 minutes into the flight, I noticed on the inflight map that we start headed West, away from where we should be. Shortly thereafter, the pilot announces that due to a mechanical issue, they’ve decided to divert to Atlanta, which we’d be landing in over an hour. Based on this diversion location, it didn’t seem to be a severe issue, as I would have suspected a quicker diversion city.
Once on the ground, it turns out that when the plane was being de-iced this morning at New York (JFK), some damage was caused to the hydraulics and they didn’t feel it would be safe to land in St. Kitts, nor would they have the parts needed there to fix this, which is why we landed in Atlanta.
In Atlanta, we pulled into E18, and they had a new aircraft with a new crew at the gate next to us, which was E16. 2 hours later we took off again as I write this inflight now from Atlanta to St. Kitts.
With this diversion and mechanical delay, this aircraft won’t be landing into St. Kitts till after 7pm, arriving 5 hours after the originally scheduled arrival of 1:50pm.
On the original flight, there was little communication to the passengers on why we were diverting or what would happen once on the ground, nor any sort of apology from the crew. It will be interesting to see if Delta is proactive with any sort of compensation for their mechanical issue which led to the diversion.
Update: I proactively received the following email from Delta:
It must have been frustrating to have been settled in on Flight 426 to St. Kitts, only to find that you would be making an unscheduled landing in Atlanta. An unexpected mechanical issue made it impossible to continue safely to St. Kitts so the decision was made to land in Atlanta and change planes. This wasn’t the experience we wanted you to have with us today and I’m sorry for the disruption to your travel plans.
We Appreciate Your Business As a goodwill gesture, I’ve deposited 5000 bonus miles into your account. Please allow three business days for the mileage to be posted.
I don’t know, 5,000 SkyMiles for a 5 hour delay/diversion seems like an insult if anything. I plan on reaching out to Delta this week about this incident to see what they’ll offer.
Have you experienced a diversion recently? How was your diversion handled? Feel free to share your details below.