A group of passengers is threatening a lawsuit against Delta Air Lines after experiencing a bizarre flight to Ghana, with a law firm retained to send a formal complaint to governmental authorities in the USA and in Ghana.
Lawsuit Threatened In Formal Complaint Against Delta Air Lines Over Troubled Ghana Flight
I wrote about this flight from the context of a polyglot YouTuber who I found far too dramatic in claiming to have experienced horror and anxiety after the pilot announced a fuel problem 2.5 hours over the Atlantic Ocean. The Delta flight from New York (JFK) to Accra, Ghana (ACC), already severely delayed, returned to JFK.
The flight was originally scheduled to leave JFK on July 24, 2022 but one of the pilots did not show up and the flight was delayed until the following afternoon. Some passengers claim that Delta left people stranded without hotel and meal vouchers, which I find very hard to believe.
On July 25th, the flight was further delayed due to bad weather, but finally took off. Bu after 2.5 hours in the air, the flight turned around, with the pilot noting a fuel problem.
Back in New York, the flight was rescheduled to take off at 3:30pm on July 26th. Some passengers were re-accomodated on the regularly-scheduled DL156 flight to Accra leaving that evening. Business class passengers were given priority, but had to accept downgrades to go that night, as business class was sold out.
A demand letter from a law firm in Accra representing seven of the passengers makes additional allegations:
- American passport holders were treated better than Ghanian passport holders
- Refunds were only offered proactively to Americans who were downgraded from business class to economy class
- Passengers were lied to when Delta promised hotel accommodations and did not deliver
- Passengers suffered emotional distress over the failure of Delta to properly fuel its aircraft and that the use of older aircraft on the Ghana routes suggests discrimination
Hinting at a potential lawsuit, the letter warns:
The said conduct is irresponsible, unprofessional, unethical, negligent, and reckless hence must be investigated and sanctioned.
Without dismissing the letter in its entirety, I’ll note it is full of serious claims but light on any sort of “smoking gun” evidence to demonstrate ill-intent, malice, or even negligence on the part of Delta. There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that can be explained in other ways than simply that Delta treats Ghanians poorly or acted recklessly in the context of this flight.
You can review the complaint here.
A formal complaint has been sent to U.S. and Ghanian aviation authorities about DL156, the troubled flight from JFK to ACC that suffered a fuel imbalance issue over the Atlantic after already facing an extended delay. While the allegations are troubling, I’m not seeing anything that definitively would make Delta legally liable.
(H/T: Sean M)