A Delta Air Lines flight that turned around over the Atlantic left YouTuber and passenger Arieh Smith “sobbing” and “terrified”.
The flight to Ghana had to return to New York due to a fuel problem.
Smith told Insider he didn’t think the crew understood how “panicked” some passengers were.
A passenger who was on a Delta Air Lines flight that turned back over the Atlantic Ocean after a fuel issue told Insider he was “terrified” by the incident.
Arieh Smith, a YouTuber with more than five million subscribers, was on the flight that departed John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Sunday bound for Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana.
About two hours into the flight, as the plane flew over the Atlantic Ocean, the pilots turned around and flew back to New York, Smith said in a YouTube video he uploaded.
“Honestly, I was terrified,” Smith told Insider. “I started texting my wife and sobbing in my seat. I thought we were going to die.”
Passengers on the flight began to whisper as the captain walked down the aisle to look at the wings through the side windows, Smith said. Half an hour later, the captain announced that there was a fuel problem and that the plane had to turn back, he added.
“I do not think so [the crew] understood how panicked some of us were,” Smith said.
Delta arranged another flight for passengers to go to Ghana the next day, but Smith said he was “too emotionally and physically exhausted” to travel again, so he flew home.
The airline initially offered Smith meal vouchers and a hotel stay in response to the disruption, but the next day he was reimbursed for the flight, he said.
A Delta spokesperson confirmed the incident to Insider, saying the plane had to turn back “out of an abundance of caution for operational reasons.” Newsweek reported that Delta said the problem was caused by “fuel imbalance” – when the amount of fuel between the left and right tanks in the wings is uneven.
In Smith’s video, he leans in the cockpit as the pilots tell him they cannot continue the flight because they are unable to “automatically or manually trim the fuel”.
Delta’s spokesperson told Insider the plane landed safely and passengers got off the flight, adding that customer safety is the airline’s top priority. Customer care teams assisted affected customers upon arrival at JFK airport, the spokesperson added.
When asked if he would try flying to Ghana again, Smith told Insider: “No. I’ve tried to go there three times now and each time I’ve failed so I think the universe is telling me not to go.”
Read the original article on Business Insider