Years ago when I first started consulting I had to fly back and forth from Dallas to New York. At the end of the week in New York, I returned to the airport to learn my return flight had been canceled. American Airlines was good to me, they booked me another flight on Delta that left in about an hour later than my original flight.

When the time came, I boarded a small regional jet with maybe 25 people on it. We took off, reached cruising altitude, and the stewardess started delivering drinks. In my travels when a plane is near empty everyone seems to be friendlier and more chatty.  Everyone was talking and drinking sodas when something bad happened.

The plane went thought some type of air pocket. We dropped about 1000 feet in less than a second. Two things occur when this happens: 1. Every thing that isn’t tied, taped, buckled, glued down goes straight to the ceiling. This included all liquids, bodies, luggage, etc. 2. When the plane levels out, everything that is on the ceiling will crash into the floor.

My soda went all over my chest and face and so did the lady who was setting directly in front of me. All the passengers were buckled in thank god. However, the stewardess was not. She flew straight up and slammed into the ceiling of the plane. Everyone looked on in horror as the plane leveled out and she slammed back into the floor.

Everyone was afraid to move since we had no clue what just happened. The stewardess was in the floor next to me and another passenger. We helped her up out of the  floor and she took a seat across from us.  At first she seemed ok and was just a little bit shaken.

However, as a plane settled and the pilot came on the radio she broke down. She started crying and shaking uncontrollably. The passengers did their best to calm her and pilot came and talked to her. Later the pilot came on the air to announce that every will remain buckled and seated the rest of the flight and that included the stewardess.

We landed with out any more issues and de-boarded the plane. At that point I decided not to fly delta any more. It wasn’t because of the accident, or the lady getting hurt, or even spilling stuff on my shirt. Shit happens. However, There was not one Delta rep to show up at our gate to check on us or the stewardess.

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