Delta Airlines OAK-LAX: My Worst Delay Strikes Last in 2011


I'm writing this post on my MacBook Air from the tarmac in Oakland. We're plopped in one of Delta's finest CRJ200 regional jets. That's sarcasm, if you couldn't tell.

If your first reaction is, "Delta flies from Oakland to Los Angeles??" you're in good company. I had no idea until I booked it. We're flying down to LA for the long weekend, and my go-to flights are out of SFO, but the Delta OAK-LAX flight was only $60... plus, we're going to be flying back from Burbank to Oakland on Southwest so the flight is actually pretty convenient, if it ever leaves.

Today was a pretty gloomy day in San Francisco, but isn't pretty much every day? Apparently it was just as gloomy down by LAX, with fog delaying almost every flight down there today. Check out the screenshot from FlightTrack Pro:


As the second to last Delta flight of the day on this route (the same plane just goes back and forth and the last one got canceled), we got hit the worst by the cascading delays. I'd post the flight status, but it's a complete lie. It says the flight should depart at 7:35PM (a 3 hour delay) and arrive at 9:55PM. If that's the case, why am I still sitting on the runway on a CRJ200 writing blog posts?

This situation I'm in is intriguing for a bunch of reasons.

First off, I think this might be the worst delay I've ever had. First off, we're talking SF Bay Area to LA. We should have just driven. I picked my gf up at 2:45PM to go to the airport. If we would have just gone to LA instead of the airport, we would be there by now. And we would have made it home in time for my mom's special dinner!!! Second, I feel like this delay was / is being mishandled by Delta. We boarded the plane a few hours late. Then after boarding, we were told to get off the plane and wait an hour. That hour ended up being only 30 minutes - they told us we were cleared and ready to go. Then we got on the plane, drove out to the runway, and heard our engines turn off, which is always a disheartening sound to hear. Then we were told we would all sit on the plane for an hour, and in an hour, we would get an "update." At that point, we would have the option to go back to the gate.

The udpate just came about five minutes ago. Now it's 8:51PM, and we're told that we're going back to the gate, where we will wait for another hour and fifteen minutes. Are you kidding me? All of this just to go 337 miles down to LA?

I know that Delta can't control the weather or Air Traffic Control's guidance, but I do feel like we're being mishandled as passengers. They should have offered to re-book passengers LONG ago. In fact, when I first saw that the flight was delayed 3 hours, I even asked the Ticket Agent for a re-booking, and he turned me down. In the terminal, on the plane, in the terminal, on the plane, now back in the terminal.

If I had to guess, I'd say we don't take off tonight... but it will be interesting to see how long Delta strings us along. We might as well stick around just in case we do take off.

Is it passive aggressive of me to silently celebrate that I credit my Delta flights to Alaska? :-)


Did you make it?

Mike December 31, 2011 at 01:47 pm

Similar situation yesterday flying from TUS to SAT via LAX. Flights diverted to Oakland. Ended up getting home 8 hours late. Nice thing is I already received an apology from United with a compensation offer. I thought it was a really nice touch n

Kevin January 2, 2012 at 04:10 am

@Matthew, YUP. 5.5 hours late. Awful. Didn't get home til 1AM....

@Kevin: Any word on compensation from DL?

Kevin January 30, 2012 at 07:11 pm


Nope. Nothing.

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