Charlotte airline passengers miserable after being forced to wait 6 hours for maintenance, weather delays
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Passengers at an airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, faced hot and miserable conditions after a pair of unexpected weather and maintenance issues delayed their flight by nearly six hours over the weekend -end.
Passengers on American Airlines Flight 327, which was traveling from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to New York City (JFK), had already boarded the plane before its scheduled departure time of 1:07 p.m. ET Sunday when they were notified that the flight crew detected a mechanical problem that prevented them from taking off.
Passengers were told their departure would be delayed and told to wait, an American Airlines spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
“The aircraft remained at the gate with the jet bridge attached” with “the preconditioned air duct plugged in and the gate open,” the spokesperson said as the flight crew “tried to solve the problem”.
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About 2.5 hours later, the passengers were asked to leave the plane.
The delay was longer than the scheduled flight time, as a nonstop flight from Charlotte to New York takes about 1 hour and 55 minutes.
“Shortly before 3:50 p.m., customers were asked to disembark and were transferred to another plane, which began boarding at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET,” the spokesperson added.
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The passengers boarded the second plane, which also could not take off – for another 1.5 hours.
“Due to lightning in the vicinity, the flight was unable to safely back out of the gate until 5:58 p.m. ET. During this time, the jet bridge remained attached and the forward gate remained open,” the spokesperson said.
The flight finally left CLT, for JFK, at 7:03 p.m. – a total delay of 5 hours and 56 minutes.
A reporter for The Charlotte Observer, who happened to be on the flight, detailed how the extended delay was simply too much for some passengers to handle. She said a passenger on the flight suffered a “mental breakdown” due to lack of air conditioning, food and drink.
The reporter, Genna Contino, said the air conditioning was turned off to save fuel. She said it was only turned back on after “people started sobbing and having panic attacks”.
The American Airlines spokesperson told Fox News Digital that passengers “have the option to disembark” at any time while the plane remains at the gate.
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“We know it can be frustrating when travel doesn’t go as planned, and we apologize to our customers for the inconvenience,” American Airlines said after the incident.
Air travel has been particularly difficult for passengers in recent months. Millions of flyers have been plagued with delays and cancellations.