STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colorado (CBS4) – Ryan Morris, his wife and children will never forget the 3 hour flight that lasted 3 days. The other day, they checked in with Delta Airlines for their return to Georgia from Steamboat Springs, but the weather changed in Colorado’s high country and no rental cars were available.
Like many of the roughly 100 other passengers who were scheduled to catch the same flight from Yampa Valley Regional Airport, they had to check into a hotel. And some police have found a unique means of transport for them.
“We relied on the local police department to get a Colorado Department of Corrections bus here to take them to a Best Western 30 miles from Craig, Colorado. A jail bus,” Morris said.
On Sunday, they returned to the airport with the other stranded passengers. By this time, Morris’ sons, Warner and Gunther, and his wife Greta were growing impatient with the other passengers on the flight.
“Everyone is ticked by this point. We’re told a rescue plane is coming in two hours. From where in 2 hours? Wait a second,” Morris said on a Zoom call as an employee began to provide an update to the crowd.
Afterwards, passengers could be heard clapping, which was apparently a sign of good news.
Morris says the rescue plane did not arrive Sunday night. So it was now at a friend’s house in Steamboat Springs to spend Sunday night, as Ryan explained.
“The backline rescue plane didn’t come last night and never does. I have to run,” he said hurriedly.
So he and the other passengers finally boarded a flight from Delta early Monday afternoon. CBS4 verified and aviation website Flight Aware showed he was in the air.
For the Morris family and others, three days might have seemed like an eternity. CBS4 contacted Delta and received the following explanation:
“Due to a series of mitigating challenges with aircraft maintenance and available flight crews who have the special qualifications required to operate flights to and from Hayden/Steamboat Springs Airport, customers who had to leaving for Atlanta on Saturday have unfortunately been delayed until this afternoon. Customers were accommodated overnight as this delay continued. We sympathize with our customers for this disruption to their plans and they have heard Delta apologize firsthand for this rare circumstance. Our customers expect more from Delta, and we are committed to doing better with them all.
After arriving in Atlanta, Morris told CBS4 they received a refund and vouchers for future use. He added: “My kids are toast.”