• A Delta Air Lines flight that U-turned over the Atlantic left YouTuber and passenger Arieh Smith "sobbing" and "terrified."
  • The flight to Ghana had to return to New York because of a fuel issue.
  • Smith told Insider he didn't think the crew understood how "freaked out" some of the passengers were.

A passenger who was on a Delta Air Lines flight which made a U-turn over the Atlantic Ocean after a fuel issue told Insider he was left "terrified" by the incident.

Arieh Smith, a YouTuber with more than five million subscribers, was on the flight which departed Sunday from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, bound for Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana.

Around two hours into the flight, when the plane was flying over the Atlantic Ocean, the pilots turned the aircraft around and returned to New York, Smith said in a YouTube video he uploaded. 

"I was honestly terrified," Smith told Insider. "I started texting my wife and sobbing in my seat. I thought we were going to die."

Passengers on the flight began to murmur when the captain walked down the aisle to look out of the side windows at the wings, Smith said. Half an hour after that, the captain announced there was an issue with the fuel and the plane needed to turn back, he added.

"I don't think [the crew] understood how freaked out some of us were," Smith said.

Delta arranged another flight for the passengers to fly to Ghana the next day, but Smith said he was "too emotionally and physically exhausted" to travel again, so went home.

The airline initially offered Smith meal vouchers and a hotel stay in response to the disruption, but the next day he was refunded for the flight, he said.

A Delta spokesperson confirmed the incident to Insider, saying the plane had to make a U-turn "out of an abundance of caution due to operational reasons." Newsweek reported that Delta said the problem was down to a "fuel imbalance" — when the amount of fuel between the left and right tanks in the wings is uneven.

In Smith's video, he leans into the cockpit as the pilots tell him they can't continue the flight because they are unable to "automatically or manually balance the fuel."

The Delta spokesperson told Insider the plane landed safely and passengers got off the flight, adding that customers' safety and security is the airline's first priority. Customer support teams helped affected customers when they arrived at JFK airport, the spokesperson added. 

Asked whether he would try to fly to Ghana again, Smith told Insider: "No. I've tried to go three times now and each time has been unsuccessful, so I think the universe is telling me not to go."

Read the original article on Business Insider