Passengers on a Delta flight DL157 en route to New York from Ghana’s capital found themselves making an emergency landing on an island in Portugal due to an oxygen issue in the cockpit of the almost 27-year-old Boeing 767-300ER. The passengers, including Ghana’s top rapper, Sarkodie, were left stranded on Terceira Island for close to 14 hours.
Passengers reported that the airline had poorly communicated the situation and provided limited updates throughout the ordeal, leaving them in suspense during the 14-hour wait at the airport. Despite the traumatic experience and extended airport stay, passengers have yet to receive any compensation or proper communication, and their luggage remains on the island.
Recounting the near-catastrophic event, Sarkodie who was traveling to host an event in Detroit shared his ordeal on X(formerly Twitter). “So I missed my event in Detroit due to @Delta doing an emergency landing on an island in Portugal yesterday. It was unfortunate but I know these things happen so I wasn’t trippin even though they communicated poorly and didn’t have the courtesy to update us on exactly what was happening…,” he tweeted.
So I missed my event in Detroit due to @Delta doing an emergency landing on an island in Portugal yesterday. It was unfortunate but I know these things happen so I wasn’t trippin even though they communicated poorly and didn’t have the courtesy to update us on exactly what was…
— Sarkodie (@sarkodie) September 10, 2023
This incident has also raised concerns among passengers and former passengers who say they have noticed a recurring trend in the airline’s operation, especially concerning flights originating from Africa. Many of them have criticized the airline for seemingly deploying older aircraft on these routes, with business class conditions often comparable to economy class. Concerns about safety have been voiced, with passengers feeling that their lives are being put at risk on Delta flights.
“We understand and we know you will not deliberately miss your event for any minor reason. Sad you had to endure this unfriendly situation but thank God you are still in good hands. It’s my prayer you & any other person never experience this. So unfortunate. @Delta you can do better,” an X user, @samuelgmusic, also tweeted.
Another user with the handle @ayimah1z also shared a similar encounter with the airline.
“Delta never apologizes. They don’t rate Ghanaians. Even before this incident, there was already another incident where they left passengers flying to Ghana stranded for days at JFK, they didn’t bother to even do anything about it. They intentionally hike their prices also making all flights to Ghana expensive,” she posted.
Sarkodie, however, has sent an apologetic message to his fans who were looking forward to enjoying his concert saying “To my fans in Detroit, I’m very sorry, and we are working on making it up to you.”
At the time of writing this report, Delta Airlines had not issued any official communication regarding the event.