Passengers of a delayed international Etihad Airlines flight from Abu Dhabi in the Middle East to San Francisco were forced to stay in their seats for 12 hours, forcing their flight to be a grueling 28 hours instead of 16.
The flight, along with 19 others, was delayed due to foggy conditions, and the flight crew told the passengers that the Abu Dhabi airport was too crowded with other stranded flights to allow them to get off the plane.
Everyone Etihad Airlines Flight 183 landed in San Francisco, but the irritation lingered even once they finally stepped off the plane.
“They kept telling us that we were going to leave, you know 15 minutes from now, 20 minutes from now, 30 minutes for now, for 12 hours,” passenger Thomas Piani said after finally landing in San Francisco at the weekend.
“Everybody was fighting with each other, and the flight attendants were fighting with us, and we were fighting with the flights attendants,” passenger Venkatesh Pahwa explained.
Family members grew very impatient and angry as well, as they explained how they couldn’t get any updates from Etihad Airlines and how they felt that it was very irresponsible of them because the plane was filled with hundreds of people, including seniors and children.
Passengers explained how the terrible service fueled the frustration.
— Abhishek Latthe (@Abhishek_Latthe) January 4, 2015
Etihad did apologize for the delay but explained that it was out of their control because of the freak fog attack.
The U.S. Department of Transportation doesn’t allow lengthy tarmac delays, as the maximum allowed for international flights is four hours and carriers must make sure passengers are provided with enough food and water. However, the rules only apply to U.S. airports, not to foreign carriers overseas, as ABC News explains.
Etihad Airlines simply had a horror weekend, as Flight EY23 from Abu Dhabi to Dusseldorf on Saturday was also delayed for 13 hours due to heavy fog. Not only that, but once it did get up in the air, it was forced to make an emergency landing in Vienna due to a 73-year old man who stopped breathing mid-flight and was pronounced dead on arrival.