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Northwest’s Letter to Passengers of “Laptop Pilots” Flight

October 27, 2009 | Posted in: Northwest,Passengers,Pilots

UPDATE: The FAA has revoked the pilots’ licenses. They have 10 days to appeal.

Let’s hear a bit more about the passengers who were on last week’s crazy flight – I speak, of course, of the one piloted by a couple of guys who were so busy with their personal laptops they failed to notice they’d overshot Minneapolis by more than 100 miles.

One passenger said it sure was no “Miracle on the Hudson” flight, and suggested that “Capt. Sully” would never be caught in a cockpit, noodling around on a laptop. I agree.

So what about the airline – did Delta/Northwest apologize to its passengers, maybe offer them a freebie?

Yes and yes. Keep reading, to see the letter they received.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, this is the text of the letter that was received by at least one passenger of errant Flight 188:

Dear [passenger name]

On behalf of Northwest and Delta Air Lines, I want to take this opportunity to offer you my immediate and sincere apology for the inconvenience and concern you were caused when Northwest Flight 188 was delayed on arrival at Minneapolis/St. Paul on Wednesday evening.

I certainly understand how unsettling this event may have been for you. [My emphasis -Rick]

Be assured we are cooperating with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in their investigations as well as conducting our own internal investigation.

The pilots have been relieved from active flying pending the completion of these investigations.

As a gesture of goodwill, I have issued an Electronic Transportation Credit (eTCV) in the amount of $500.00 [Note: there were 144 passengers - Rick]. Please note the voucher number and associated Terms and Conditions will be arriving in a separate email. Please keep the Terms and Conditions, since the eTCV number is required for redemption. The eTCV can be used online at www.delta.com or when booking directly through one of our Reservations offices.

I pledge to you that the safety of our passengers and crew always will remain our top priority. We hope you will provide us an opportunity to serve your air travel needs again soon. Thank you for your understanding and for flying Delta Air Lines.



6 Responses to “Northwest’s Letter to Passengers of “Laptop Pilots” Flight”

  1. Delta shouldn’t have to shell out $500 for this! It was an accident nobody got hurt! WTF!

    If they had flown US Airways though this wouldn’t have happened!
    US Airways is the best US carrier currently flying the skies!

    Twitter @leidecker4 #US Airways

    Kevin Leidecker

  2. David Z says:


    Indeed they don’t. But…they chose to.

  3. Kris says:

    “Delta shouldn’t have to shell out $500.00 for this!!!!! It was an accident, nobody got hurt!”

    NO, Deltan didnt HAVE to shell out anything. Its called restitution. Even if you screw up accidentally, you say your sorry and make restitution. Its the right thing to do. Unbelievable. I think Delta showed some integrity by offering the passengers that voucher. I actually respect the airline more than if they had just dismissed the pilots…who by the way, shouldnt be having “accidents” when they are flying.
    If we all go through life crying “it was an accident” nobody will get anywhere in life. Its those (like Delta Airlines) who step up and say, Im responsible and I will make it right that get further in life. Not those who sit and wait for someone to clean up their mess. Great job Delta!!!

  4. Matt Radio says:

    Delta did the right thing here, in regard to the voucher issued to passengers AND relieving the pilots of their duties. True, no one was hurt, and no harm was intended, but the lack of focus of those pilots could very easily have had grave repercussions.

  5. chris says:

    You are all UNIFORMED… SEVERELY… granted there were mistakes made by both ATC and the crew. ATC LOST the aircraft, controllers failed to make initial contact and did not follow up. They could have easily gotten in touch with the aircraft but they simply ‘forgot’ about them.. the pilots didnt even have their laptop open for 5 minutes, but its what the b.s. media and YOU AL latch on to… You always ASSUME incompetence first and not wait for the facts to arise. Also, if you are NOT a pilot for an airline, you have no idea what your talking about and thus, your opinion should just be muted. Havent you noticed that NO AIRLINE pilots have came forward to condemn these pilots? Cause we know what happened.. I suggest you research the incident and get your facts.

  6. Rick Seaney says:


    The “media” isn’t the entity that took away those pilots’ licenses.


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