Delta Flight Delay Causes Plane to Take Off With Just 2 Passengers

A series of events caused the strange occurrence.

ByABC News
January 12, 2015, 5:57 PM

— -- After hours of delays, one New York-bound passenger thought that he was getting the private plane treatment when he boarded his flight and realized he was the only passenger.

The passenger, a Brooklyn-based man named Chris O'Leary, started tweeting about his amazement before the plane took off, saying how he got a personalized safety briefing and a one-on-one run down from the captain about the flight.

"It was definitely the most memorable flight I've been on in recent memory if only for the sheer lack of passengers to become bothersome," O'Leary told ABC News. "There were no screaming babies, no one listening to loud lyrics or reclining their seats or taking their shoes."

Although it seemed like he was getting to fly home solo, the plane ended up going back to the gate one last time to pick up a second passenger.

They didn't end up chatting away throughout the flight, however.

"He took advantage of the fact the flight was empty and reclined his seat all the way (and slept)," O'Leary said of the second passenger.

It isn't clear how many people were originally scheduled to be on board the 76-seater regional plane, but according to O'Leary, he was the only who was not rebooked on an earlier flight after they faced a number of delays.

O'Leary was actually scheduled on a 7:15 a.m. flight out of Cleveland but when that flight got cancelled, he was re-booked on this flight, which was scheduled to take off at 9:39 a.m.

The flight was delayed for hours, and since O'Leary learned of the delays by phone notifications, he stayed in his hotel until shortly before the flight was actually due to take off.

When he arrived at the airport, he heard his name being paged on the loud speaker and he was informed that everyone else had been rebooked on earlier flights because of the delay.

"Part of this is my own stupidity but it ended up working out in my favor," he said of the fact that he missed the pages to get on an earlier flight.

A Delta Airlines spokesman confirmed that there were two passengers on board.

Often times when planes fly with a small number of passengers it's because the plane itself is needed in the destination city for a later flight.