Woman talking(l+r), Delta airplane(c)

VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock @heyesthercho/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘This is the worst flight experience I’ve ever had’: Viewers divided after Gen-Z traveler shares Delta Airlines ‘horrible’ experience

'Are you new here?'


Alexandra Samuels


Posted on Jan 24, 2024   Updated on Jan 23, 2024, 5:39 pm CST

A woman went viral on TikTok after lacing into Delta Airlines for what she called a “traumatic” experience that ended with her canceling a trip home to visit family. 

“Y’all [expletive] Delta Airlines. Literally, [expletive] them. Go to hell,” said @heyesthercho, who recorded four separate videos on the incident. In the first video’s caption, Cho said that “this was the worst flight experience I’ve ever had.”

She also encouraged her followers to “not ever fly with” Delta Airlines.

@heyesthercho this is the worst flight experience ive ever had. please do not ever fly with @delta #worstflightexperience#horribleflight#delta#airport#worstairportever ♬ original sound – Esther 🤍

Cho said she booked a flight that was supposed to leave John F. Kennedy International Airport at 3:30pm. Upon arriving at the gate, however, she said she was told that her flight was delayed by an hour. 

Later, she was told her flight got delayed by another hour. Then another hour was tacked on. 

“So a flight that was supposed to leave at 3:30 p.m. is now scheduled for 6:55,” Cho said. “It’s [expletive] annoying, right?”

Cho said the plane was delayed because there was no one around to fly it and Delta was waiting for a pilot to arrive. Cho said this “[didn’t] really make sense” to her.

Then, at 7pm, the plane started boarding. But even after getting all the passengers aboard, the flight still wasn’t ready to take off. 

“They’re like, ‘Oh, just a little bit longer. Just 10 more minutes,’” Cho recalled someone aboard saying. “Ten more minutes turns into one and a half hours… Nothing’s happening. We’re all just sitting there.”

And they continued to sit there, Cho said, for three hours until the passengers were eventually forced to deplane. Cho said that this was after roughly eight or nine hours of initial delays. 

@heyesthercho it only gets worse from here… #worstflightexperience#flightexperience#terribleflight#horribleflight ♬ original sound – Esther 🤍

“They finally announce: This flight has been canceled,” she said. And then it got worse. In her second follow-up video, Cho said there was a rush to the desk because everyone wanted to reroute their flight. But she said that Delta’s staff were “incompetent” and “rude” to the passengers. 

“I understand that it could be overwhelming,” Cho said. Still, she called the experience “dehumanizing.”

“It was like the worst level of humanity I’ve ever experienced,” she said. In the end, Cho said she canceled her entire trip because she was “defeated” and “traumatized” by the experience. 

“I actually never want to step foot in an airport or fly with Delta again,” she said. 

@heyesthercho oh but just wait because theres more… #worstflightexperience#flightexperience#terribleflight#horribleflight#canceledflight ♬ original sound – Esther 🤍

In her third video, Cho detailed the lengths she had to go through to retrieve a checked bag. Other passengers, she said, told her that they waited six or seven hours to get their bags, to no avail. 

“Seriously, I could start crying just thinking about this,” Cho said. And when she tried to talk to an employee at the baggage claim carousel, she said they were all “rude.”

“Every single person I spoke to that was a Delta employee at the airport that day was so freaking rude,” she said. “There’s no way you can be speaking to me like this as a person.”

In the end, Cho said she was repeatedly told that she had to wait for her bag to arrive—or come back the next day, assuming her bag was left unclaimed. She said her roommate ended up getting her from the airport and Cho retrieved her bag in the morning. 

“This is a miracle in itself,” she said. “I just wish that the whole thing didn’t have to happen.”

She ended her final video with a PSA to viewers. “This is your sign. Don’t fly with Delta,” Cho said. “We got zero vouchers, zero compensation.”  

@heyesthercho im just exhausted and traumatized. #worstflightexperience#flightexperience#horribleflight#canceledflight#delta ♬ original sound – Esther 🤍

In the comments, viewers were torn on whether to take her advice. Some commenters, for instance, said that Cho’s experience—while stressful—is increasingly normal. 

“Are you new here? Welcome to flying out of NY in January,” one person said. 

“get over it, that’s how airports operate, drive next time,” another added. 

“Honestly. First world problems. Some people are actually suffering,” a third viewer wrote. 

Others, however, were more sympathetic to her experience and said they’ve had similarly bad experiences with Delta. 

“I avoid Delta at all costs for years bec their flights are almost always problematic,” one viewer shared. 

“Everytime I take delta I have bad luck,” another said. 

The Daily Dot has reached out to Cho via TikTok comment and to Delta Airlines through its online contact form.

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*First Published: Jan 24, 2024, 6:00 am CST