Lonely Planet Writer

Man given royal treatment as solo passenger on Delta flight from New Orleans

What do you do if you are the only person on a scheduled flight? Sit back and enjoy being one of the jet set for a day.

Stephen Schneider with a member of cabin crew on the Delta flight to Atlanta last week
Stephen Schneider with a member of cabin crew on the Delta flight to Atlanta last week Image by Twitter/WES-TV

That’s what Steven Schneider encountered when he arrived at the gate in New Orleans for his flight home to Atlanta. The Lawrenceville, Georgia man was initially invited by Delta staff to discuss if he would like to wait until the following day’s flight as he was the only passenger due to make the trip on Tuesday last week.

University study shows that cabin crew and other frequent flyers could be more prone to skin cancer. Image by Christopher Doyle / CC BY-SA 2.0
Steven Schneider had a plane all to himself  except for flight attendants on a recent flight Image by Christopher Doyle / CC BY-SA 2.0 Image by Christopher Doyle / CC BY-SA 2.0

More people were expected to travel on the 160 passengers MD-90 craft but due to delays, had either postponed their trips or taken earlier flights. According to nzherald.co.nz Mr Schneider said he felt bad initially because he didn’t want the company to make a trip with just himself on board. However when the flight attendant explained that the plane had to make the trip back to Atlanta regardless of how many were travelling, he jumped on the ’empty leg’ flight.

Man takes a solo trip on a Delta flight.
Man takes a solo trip on a Delta flight. Image by Aleksander Markin / CC BY-SA 2.0

This was one flight where he had no worry about legroom. He described the trip as “so cool” with staff laying on the royal treatment for him en route. One flight attendant claimed it was the first time such a situation had arisen in her 17 years flying. Delta told Channel 2 Action they were delighted their customer had enjoyed “a somewhat rare solo experience.” The carrier said they had accommodated other passengers on earlier flights. They pointed out that they were happy to make the trip as they needed the plane in position for a departure from Atlanta the next day. The spokesman added that although there was only one paying customer on board, it was more cost effective than if the flight hadn’t taken place at all.