Travelers from Houston to Atlanta were held up for hours by the problem.
Air travel has been on a strong rebound since the pandemic, but that’s exposed a lot of shortcomings in the transportation system.
In addition to weather problems, many flights have been delayed or cancelled over things like pilot shortages, or software problems.
Now, however, a traveller in Houston has described in riveting detail a truly unusual flight delay.
Anjali Enjeti described the problem in a series of more than 20 tweets as airline employees struggled to figure out what to do.
It Was the Pilot’s Last Flight of the Week
Potential solutions involved calling a bee keeper, trying to hose down the wing, or taxing the plane around.
According to Enjeti’s account, roadblocks developed for each potential solution.
A bee keeper couldn’t be allowed to touch the plane.
A hose was brought out, but not used for unknown reasons.
The captain’s plan to taxi the plane around got nixed.
Enjeti credited the captain with soothing frustrated passengers by noting that it was his last flight of the week. After a couple of hours, the passengers watched in dismay as the flight crew got off the plane.
Delta Offers Light Hearted Response
In a statement Delta said: “Bee-lieve it or not, Delta flight 1682 from Houston-Bush to Atlanta took a delay this afternoon after a friendly group of bees evidently wanted to talk shop with the winglet of our airplanes, no doubt to share the latest about flying conditions at the airport.” The airline said it had apologized to the passengers.
A new crew arrived to take the plane, an Airbus A320, to another gate, with Enjeti and the other travelers expecting to be stranded for the night.
But as soon as the plane engines were started, the bees took off.
Ultimately the 92 passengers, two pilots and three flight attendants departed for Atlanta after a delay of about 3 hours.
Bees have actually been responsible for grounding military planes as well, according to tweets responding to Enjeti.