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Sioux Falls deplaning delay sparks social media backlash

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Delta Airlines faced several disgruntled customers and frustrated social media posts following a flight from Minneapolis that took more than an hour to deplane after landing in Sioux Falls.

The Sioux Falls Regional Airport delay on Sunday sparked complaints on Twitter as flyers and family members called the wait "ridiculous" and "unacceptable." Some criticized the airline for not having enough staff to handle the situation.

The airport's executive director, Dan Letellier, told the Argus Leader that it's up to each individual airline to ensure flights stick to schedule. Letellier said Delta was handling two arrivals at nearly the same time due to an extensive delay on another flight.

He said it's possible the airline's local ground crew was understaffed. Sioux Falls' low unemployment rate has led to workforce shortages across many industries.

Delta emailed a statement that said, "Delta apologizes to customers on flight 2048 from Minneapolis who were delayed deplaning in Sioux Falls while Delta's ground crews worked to board another flight at an adjacent gate."

Lisa and Steve Johnson were waiting at the airport to pick up their teenage daughter, who was stuck on the Minneapolis flight. Lisa Johnson said her daughter and other passengers noticed an exhaust-like smell, while their patience wore thin.

"She was just more irritated and uncomfortable," she said. "We told her, 'we're here, we can see the plane.'"

Steve Johnson said, "They should have a couple of maintenance people there that could handle unloading a plane. What if there's an emergency?"