A Delta Air Lines flight headed for Lagos was forced to turn around and return to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after failing to reach the proper altitude in midflight.
According to information obtained by Vanguard, FlightAware, a flight tracking service, recorded the detour of Flight No. 54, which took off on August 5, 2022, and detailed the flight’s course over a taxing two and a half-hour period for its passengers.
At at 9.29 p.m. EDT, the Airbus A330-200 (twin-jet) flight took off. Prior to takeoff, the flight was delayed by roughly two hours.
According to FlightAware data, the aircraft took off about 9.29 p.m. US time and climbed to an altitude of roughly 33,000 ft before turning around and returning to the airport, where it landed at around 12.22 a.m.
Before boarding a new flight, passengers slept at a hotel and received a full refund for their ticket as well as their lodging costs for about two days.
The pilot was forced to return to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport an hour after takeoff because the plane struggled to reach altitude, according to a passenger who desired anonymity.
“There was bedlam of prayers and worship going on in the plane,” he stated. He also revealed that the decision to return to Atlanta was that of the pilot, who considered his kids when making the decision.
“We were relieved when we landed so I engaged the pilot who told me he was not going to take a risk, especially as he has young kids.
“For some of the passengers, the decision of the pilot to consider safety first was enough to comfort the inconvenience of having to wait two days for another flight.
“Delta Air took charge of the passengers when they returned as the passengers confirmed they were ‘professional’ in the way the situation was handled.”