One passenger reported that the night in the barracks ‘clouded’ his trip.
Passengers aboard a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit spent the night in a military barracks in eastern Canada after the plane was forced to land because of a mechanical failure.
The Delta Airlines crew diverted the flight on Sunday to Newfoundland and Labrador, WJBK-TV first reported.
Passenger Tony Santoro of Troy in suburban Detroit told the television station that passengers were lodged in barracks during the 24-hour delay. “It honestly felt like a hotel,” he said. “It wasn’t too bad. We had soap, water, everything.”
Whereas passenger Nathan Johnson said there was little communication from the airline as to what was going on.
Delta flight 135 was diverted to Goose Bay airport “out of an abundance of caution,” the airline told the Associated Press in a statement.
“Crew duty times were impacted due to weather and runway conditions at the Goose Bay airport causing the airport to suspend operations. Delta sent additional aircraft to Goose Bay to bring customers to their final destination Monday.”
Delta worked with officials in Goose Bay to arrange for food, water and accommodation on Sunday night, the airlines said, adding that passengers will be compensated for the inconvenience.
Nathan Johnson, 45, was one of the passengers who spent hours with his wife stuck on the tarmac waiting to get off their flight. Johnson said the passengers were on the tarmac for five hours waiting for another plane to arrive to take them to Detroit.
When the second plane did finally arrive, Johnson said passengers boarded and then were told that the crew had timed out and they had to get off again. Johnson and the passengers were eventually taken to the military barracks on school buses around 6 am on Monday.
Like the rest of the passengers, Johnson had arrived at the barracks unprepared to spend the night without his checked bags and toiletries. Some passengers did not have coats in the cold Canada weather.
Johnson said that he and his wife were forced to sleep in the clothes he had been wearing since leaving Munich, Germany, hours before.
“We were shuttled back to the rooms with no understanding of what our next time was going to be as far as when we should wake up or when we should be ready,” he said. “There was no communication.”
Johnson said he looked out the window and saw buses moving at 11 am on Monday. So he and his wife rushed to get on the buses back to the airport, where they had to go through security again with a skeleton staff unprepared to assist all the plane passengers. Their next flight did not depart until 5 pm, with snow falling outside.
Johnson’s wife had been receiving medical treatment in Germany, so the two were exhausted and eager to get back to their home in Lansing, Michigan.
“It was sort of surreal,” he said. “It clouded our entire visit.”