When Brad Hartley checked his messages on Monday morning he wasn’t expecting a private flight to New York City. The airline called to tell Mr. Hartley that his flight, originally scheduled to depart from Nashville at 7 that morning, had been delayed and that he could expect to leave around 10:30. But when he got to the airport, still an hour before departure, he noticed that something was awry.
“I finally went to the gate at 10:30 and nobody was there,” he told Gadling last night. After waiting a few minutes he checked with the gate agent who told him that all of the other passengers on his flight had departed on different scheduled aircraft. He was the only passenger remaining, and after being personally escorted to the aircraft by the gate agent, he found a regional jet (pictured at right) all to himself.
Realizing the situation, the crew decided to give Mr. Hartley the VIP treatment, taking requests to play music over intercom before departure and referring to him as “Mr. President” occasionally during the trip.
Though he arrived several hours after his scheduled time, he didn’t mind the delay. “Those guys were completely awesome today,” he beamed on the phone. And though he admits he was excited when he posted an update to his friends and family on Facebook, he asserts that the crew were both professional and by-the-book.
An excited recount of his journey went viral on Reddit last night, where numerous users expressed amazement and elation at Mr. Hartley’s good luck. Joked one user: “I’m sure the First Officer filled out the most exact Weight and Balance form of his career. Passenger: 1″