We were cleared for takeoff from Atlanta at 9 a.m. It was sprinkling a bit (which normally causes Delta to cancel flights), but we were fortunate enough to be able to depart before the weather deteriorated. Halfway down the runway, the engines shut down and the plane slowed. The pilot came on the PA and announced there was a problem with the left thruster. In his professional judgment, we were better off to go back to the gate and have the mechanic evaluate the problem.
Now I am not arguing with the pilot's professional judgment. Ultimately, it is split-second decisions such as these that allow the airline industry to enjoy outstanding safety records. However, the remaining day was filled with Delta mishaps. Five seconds further down the runway we would have been on our way.
We headed back to the gate with little said from the pilot or flight attendant. After 15 minutes at the gate, we were told by the flight attendant in a short, unapologetic voice, that we were to deplane and head to the service attendant at gate 19. We were not told that we were being rebooked on other flights. We were not given an indication of the process that we would go through, and we did not receive any apology or further instructions from the flight attendant.
Ultimately, we wound up at our destination 13 hours later because we spent an extra $1500 to purchase 5 one-way tickets on AirTran. The rest of my day will be described in future posts.
Delta really sucks.