Georgia man enjoys entire Delta plane to himself on flight home

delta flight

 (Delta Air Lines)

A Georgia man says he enjoyed an unusual private flying experience where he was the only passenger on a Delta Air Lines plane flying to Atlanta.

Steven Schneider of Lawrenceville, Georgia, tells WSB-TV that he arrived at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport on Tuesday and saw no passengers waiting at his gate.

“I was so nervous,” Schneider  told the station. “I couldn’t believe it. I felt like I missed my flight!”

Most of the passengers originally scheduled on Flight No. 2426—which had been delayed a couple of times-- decided to take an earlier flight, or postpone travel until the next day

Schneider says Delta tried to call him, but they had the wrong contact number for him. He says the flight attendant told him the 160-passenger plane needed to go back to Atlanta so he didn’t feel guilty about riding solo on such a big jetliner.

“At first I felt really bad, because I didn’t want the plane to only make the trip because of me,” Schneider said. “But after talking to a flight attendant at the gate, she said the plane needed to go back to Atlanta anyway. She called this an empty leg flight.”

The airline said the reason they operated the flight was to have the plane positioned back in Atlanta so it could be in place for a departure the next day.

Delta released the following statement about the experience to WSB-TV:

"We're glad this customer enjoyed a somewhat rare solo experience. Other customers were accommodated on an earlier departure. The reason we operated the flight was so this customer could have that airplane positioned back in Atlanta so it could be in place for a departure the next day." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.