He Waited Out 18-Hour Delay, Had a Wild Flight

Persistent North Carolina real estate agent gets the flight to himself, has some fun
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2023 1:57 PM CDT
He Waited Out 18-Hour Delay, Had a Wild Flight
An American Airlines plane lands at Logan International Airport on Jan. 26 in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Sometimes persistence pays off—in the form of basically a private flight home. Such is the case of Phil Stringer, who booked what ended up becoming a much delayed flight from Oklahoma City to Charlotte, North Carolina, that was scheduled to leave at 6:30am Sunday. After at least seven delays due to storms in the area, all other passengers had rebooked or given up, reports CNN. And so when the plane finally went wheels up a little after midnight, Stringer was in a bit of a unique situation—and one that was highly unprofitable for American Airlines. "I am the only person on the plane and they have an entire flight crew, they do not want to do this flight," he says in a TikTok video. "They pulled them from the hotel to come do this flight for just one person."

The intimate flight turned into something of a party, with flight attendants giving a less-than-pro-forma midnight safety demonstration and joking that there would be no snacks for Stringer, and everyone basically hanging out til the plane landed around 3:35am. For all his fun, the Star-Telegram notes that Stringer didn't escape one main dread of air travelers: missing baggage. His, despite being the only checked bag on the plane, went missing for 45 minutes in the Charlotte airport. "We know it can be frustrating when travel plans get delayed and are thankful for our crew members who went above and beyond to care for Mr. Stringer during his flight," an airline rep says. (More strange stuff stories.)

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