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Investigation Launched into Extreme Heat Tarmac Delay: Passengers Endure Ordeal on Delta Flight

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has announced an investigation into a distressing incident involving Delta Air Lines passengers who were left stranded on the tarmac at Las Vegas airport during a heatwave. The plane remained on the scorching tarmac for hours, subjecting passengers to triple-digit heat and discomfort.

Shocking Tarmac Ordeal

The incident took place on flight 555 from Las Vegas to Atlanta on July 17. As temperatures soared to a blistering 111º F, passengers were left onboard the aircraft without air conditioning for an extended period. The situation escalated when the pilot announced the plane had to return to the gate due to multiple emergencies.

Chaos Amidst Sweltering Heat

Inside the cabin, chaos ensued. Fox News field producer Krista Garvin, who was among the passengers, reported that flight attendants were rushing up and down the aisles with oxygen tanks. Distressed passengers were collapsing, and some even lost control of their bodily functions due to the extreme conditions. The pilot urged those with medical emergencies to press their call buttons.

Desperate Measures

With the situation deteriorating rapidly, a flight attendant and a passenger had to be taken to a local hospital for medical attention. The ordeal left everyone on board in a state of distress. As the heat persisted, passengers were faced with an agonizing choice: stay on the plane or disembark and risk being stranded for days in the midst of a challenging flight rescheduling process.

Delta’s Response and Apologies

Delta Air Lines, upon learning of the situation, promptly launched an investigation into the cause of the extreme temperatures inside the cabin. The airline issued a public apology to the affected passengers, acknowledging the discomfort and distress they endured during the ordeal. Compensation was offered to the passengers as a gesture of goodwill for the inconvenience caused.

Transportation Department Holds Airlines Accountable

The Transportation Department, responsible for overseeing such incidents, stated that airlines are obligated to provide passengers with comfortable cabin temperatures during tarmac delays. Moreover, airlines are required to begin moving the plane within three hours of a delayed domestic flight to a location where passengers can safely disembark.

Accountability and Resolution

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg asserted that the department would hold the airline accountable for any violations in this matter. Delta Air Lines assured its cooperation with the investigation and vowed to rectify the issues leading to the unfortunate incident.

Tarmac Delays and Safety Measures

Tarmac delays have been a concern in the airline industry, and regulations are in place to prevent such occurrences and protect passengers’ safety and well-being. Extreme weather conditions can pose significant challenges, and airlines must have protocols in place to handle emergencies swiftly and efficiently.

Lessons Learned

The incident involving Delta Flight 555 serves as a wake-up call for the airline industry to reassess its procedures during extreme weather events. Swift action and communication are vital to ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers during challenging situations.


As the investigation into the distressing tarmac delay continues, both the Transportation Department and Delta Air Lines are committed to implementing measures to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. Ensuring the safety, comfort, and well-being of passengers remains a top priority for all airlines as they work towards delivering a seamless travel experience.

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