Travel nightmare of passengers stuck on plane for NINE HOURS, for 30 minute flight
Icy weather and multiple mechanical issues turned an American Airlines flight that was supposed to last for less than an hour into a nine-hour nightmare – before the plane even left the ground.
American Airlines flight 382 was supposed to leave Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at 1.45pm on Friday for Oklahoma City, but didn’t take off until 10.48pm.
The plane was originally grounded because it was being de-iced, a process that took five hours because of heavy snow.
But just as the plane reached the end of the runway and passengers thought they were finally getting in the air, it was revealed there was a mechanical issue with the aircraft.
Icy weather and multiple mechanical issues grounded American Airlines flight 382 in Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for over nine hours. Passenger Brandon Sullivan tweeted from the scene and said the weather was slowing things down at the airport
Sullivan also tweeted a photograph of flight attendants taking care of a sick passenger and wrote that people were ‘becoming ill’ after being stuck in the plane for over seven hours
Passenger Ryan Eccles told Daily Mail Online the plane had problem after problem.
‘It was frustrating due to just the number of things that were going wrong,’ he said.
‘We had to wait in line to de-ice, wait for take off clearance, then we had a pressure indicator issue and had to return to the gate, and wait for a gate.’
‘Then our parking assist was broken, so then we had to wait for maintenance and start the whole process again.’
Passenger Brandon Sullivan told ABC News the scene on the plane ‘got a little chaotic’ as people started raiding the liquor fridge and pulling out drinks.
Eccles said the captain told the plane he had instructed the flight attendants to provide everyone with whatever they wanted to drink.
Sullivan tweeted that tempers were ‘raging’ after nearly six hours on the plane, and that adults were ‘kicking each other’s seats and shouting’ expletives.
He also tweeted a photograph of flight attendants taking care of a sick passenger and wrote that people were ‘becoming ill’ after being stuck in the plane for over seven hours.
Eccles said he also saw a couple of people feeling unwell, and that the crew was attentive and took good care of them.
Despite the long hours and the snacks running out fast, Eccles said things went ‘pretty well’ and that after awhile he was actually having ‘a pretty good time’ with the passengers near him.
He credits the flight attendants for making the ordeal a little smoother and said they even volunteered to extend their hours so that the plane could still fly.
After eight hours the attendants were up against their daily limit, but no replacement crew was available.
Passengers were given two chances to leave the plane for good, and one chance to leave in order to get something to eat.
A diabetic man was also given a second opportunity to leave the plane and pick up food.
American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller apologized for the incident and said ‘extreme weather impacting north Texas’ had made for a ‘challenging day’ at the Dallas airport.
‘The safety of our passengers and employees is always our top priority,’ he said.
According to the airline, the nine-hour delay did not violate the Department of Transportation’s three-hour limit because the plane was not actually held on the tarmac.
ABC News aviation consultant Stephen Ganyard said de-icing a plane is extremely important, because any ice on the wing could challenge it’s ability to fly.
But Ganyard noted that the weather had been bad ‘for days’ in Dallas.
‘This was not a surprise to American,’ he said. ‘They should have been better prepared.