Emptiest Delta Flight?

Old Feb 26, 2020, 6:21 pm
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Long Beach, CA
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HND-SEA right after it started years ago, about 15 passengers in Y. Reminded me of The Langoliers.
apodo77 and hhdl like this.

Last edited by bubbashow; Mar 1, 2020 at 2:16 pm
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Old Feb 26, 2020, 6:22 pm
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I was on an Air Canada 767 a few months ago BOG-YYZ and while business was full the back of the plane was completely empty, everyone got their own rows.
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Old Feb 26, 2020, 7:34 pm
Join Date: Apr 2013
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I had one of these about 5 years ago on a United return DTW-ORD-MSP. A friend and I had flown out that morning (I want to say on a Tuesday) to attend the North American International Auto Show, which was awesome. On the way back, which I was believe the last flight of the night ORD-MSP, there was maybe 15 of us total. I remember, after we were all boarded, someone raised their hand and asked the FA "Excuse me. Do you mind if we..." and before she could finish the FA said "Sit wherever you'd like." I took this upon myself to join the 1 member of FC, to which the FA had no issue. I didn't partake in any of the F amenities, which were happily provided, but it was at least a more comfortable seat. Having a drink or taking snacks just seemed wrong, even though I was there with permission.
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Old Feb 26, 2020, 7:56 pm
Join Date: Feb 2020
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Unfortunately have never been on a "completely or near empty" flight. Closest I got to was the last flight of the night from BDL to MSP on a 717. Out of 110 seats there was probably 30 people total, give or take a couple on the flight. All local passengers besides one or two connecting to RST or FAR. F was full, C+ was 1/4 full and Y was basically completely open. Left late due to deicing but the flight was smooth, I had an entire row of C+ next to, behind, and in front of me, and FA's were more personable and generous with drinks/snacks. Even chatted with the lead FA for about 10 minutes. Definitely a nice change of pace from my usual "completely full" flights.
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Old Feb 26, 2020, 8:19 pm
Join Date: Apr 2017
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Had 25-30 on a Den to MSP 737 about 6 months ago. I remember sitting at the gate for the flight wondering um where is everyone.

wife and I were in first. At least it boarded quickly.
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Old Feb 27, 2020, 7:56 am
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PMNW the day after a strike ended, I think I was 1 of 2 or 3 pax on a DC10 PHX-MSP.
And back in the 1960s I was 1 of 2, I think, flying DL JAN-MSY. Weather the day before had pushed everything to JAN including the LGW-MSY interchange that Delta and PanAm flew.
I was probably 14 years old and traveling alone. No unaccompanied minor stuff back then.

Last edited by mot29; Feb 27, 2020 at 8:02 am
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Old Feb 27, 2020, 8:17 am
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PDX-SEA in 2019 that had 12 people total on board, there were not even enough medallions to give all the upgrades to
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Old Feb 27, 2020, 1:12 pm
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Thetford, VT USA
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Only passenger on DL computer partner flight

Years ago I flew PHL to BOS on Business Express. I was the only passenger on a small Business Express regional jet (could even have been a prop-jet). There was no co-pilot so the pilot asked if I'd like to sit up front in the co-pilot's seat, which I did. We flew directly over JFK and I told the pilot I was surprised that we were allowed to do so, given the huge amount of traffic at JFK. He said that while JFK is indeed a very busy airport, none of the activity at or very close to JFK takes place at my flight's altitude. I then thought, of course that's true.
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Old Feb 28, 2020, 3:08 am
Join Date: Oct 2002
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DL has been operated the 757 between DTW & IND during the summer months (this year it's scheduled as a 321). I've been on a few of the DTW-IND flights (which depart after 10PM) through the years, and the highest load may have filled up a CRJ.

But January and February are "popular" months for lightly loaded aircraft. A couple years ago, I flew a few flights between DTW/SNA, operated with the 73G at the time, that had between 25-40 passengers on them (and yet the single flight, upgauged to the 757 shortly after, still managed to finish the year with a 90%+ LF). This year I've traveled on two of UA's "screw you Delta" $44 SNA-DTW (the fare was also available from MSP and ATL) flights. I've routed myself on the SFO-DTW flight each time -- on one flight in mid-January, there were so few people on the plane, everybody got a First Class meal.

Light winter loads aren't limited to air travel. We took Amtrak's Southwest Chief from Los Angeles to Chicago; there were two trains for coach (about 150 seats) and only about 30 passengers most of the way. Although the sun goes down early, it's a great time to sightsee and relax. When you get an entire row for youself, it's a lot more comfortable than a roomette.
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Old Feb 29, 2020, 2:31 pm
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I flew in a L1011 (many years ago...) from ATL to CVG with 6 passengers and some sand bags strapped in for weight and balance. Everyone and everything rode up front.
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Old Feb 29, 2020, 6:58 pm
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DTW—HKG 34 total. Nice to lay down for 15 hours. Way home had just under a 100. Still had my own row.
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Old Mar 1, 2020, 1:09 am
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NAS-ATL: During an extra section in Hurricane Irene (going to LGA) in 2011. My Sister, Mom, and I (All 3) of us got upgraded to F with my Silver status on the 757 which was ex-NW. A handful were only in Y once we were upgraded while boarding the plane. Probably on a dozen. The rest of the bird was empty in Y

The 757 was empty and it had a "9***" flight number, so I knew it was special. My Mom and Sister were like "Oh this is nice" but didn't really appreciate the work I put into getting them out of the Bahamas. They wanted to wait it out (yet everyone at the resort was leaving ahead of it.) Delta flew charter flights that were completely unnecessary, but I was so happy for it.

Also: on ATL-LGA they had an overbook status. I said to the gate agent (after we got off the plane from NAS) that we could spend the night in ATL if need be as our vacation was disrupted. Instead, they plugged my Mom and Myself to F on another PM-NW 757. This was insane as the flight ended up being completely full and bumpy up to LGA. My Mom and Sister were debating on who should be in F and my Mom ended up going up font. We were in Row 1, automatically, no questions asked. I was floored.

It's this trip that I still fly DL hardcore these days. They really took care of us and that same hurricane followed us up to the NYC area days later. My Sister and Mom still forget how brutal that vacation was for us and have zero loyalty to DL, and I was like 24 at the time. Sad.
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Old Mar 1, 2020, 2:30 pm
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Empty A380

I was booked on an evening Air France from Singapore to CDG when they cancelled the flight in the afternoon due to mechanical problems. I was busy at work that day so I couldn't stay on hold to rebook on another airline. I knew several others on that flight and AF had booked them out that same night on other airlines. I got a notice that the original flight would leave in the morning so I just waited. The boarding area was nearly empty and there turned out to be no more than twenty people on that flight! I was on the upper deck and walked by row after row of empty business class seats. My entire section was empty. It was like being on a ghost plane but I loved it!
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Old Mar 1, 2020, 8:12 pm
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Weirdly enough I've been on a late-night JFK-LAS that also had about 20 people throughout the entire plane. This was before I had status, so no upgrade, but we each had a row to ourselves in Y.
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Old Mar 3, 2020, 5:40 pm
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: MCI
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Posts: 280
I have never had a really empty Delta flight. I have, however, had a near empty flight on the old Midwest Express from San Antonio to Kansas City on Christmas night. There were six passengers on the plane and four crew members. I remember that flight as being the worst one that I had ever had, in particular due to the severe turbulence we had over Oklahoma City. The DC-9 was bouncing like a basketball. I will admit, I was never so glad to see the lights at MCI until that night.
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