Airplane travel isn’t faring so well these days, especially with the number of emergency landings that have recently made headlines. The latest incident involves a 28-hour overseas flight, 12 of which were spent on the tarmac in the grueling Middle Eastern heat.
Etihad Airways Flight 183 was trapped due to a quick fog that encompassed the entire city of Abu Dhabi just before take-off, forcing the airline to delay the flight for half a day. The group of passengers were made to sit on the blacktop awaiting their launch for the entire 12-hour period without food or any information.
Speaking on the ordeal, Thomas Piani said, “They kept telling us that we were going to leave, you know 15 minutes from now, 20 minutes from now, 30 minutes from now, for 12 hours.” This apparently went on the entire time they were stuck on the tarmac, with very little information being relayed from the airline to the trapped passengers.
The only information the passengers were able to garner from the situation was that the Abu Dhabi airport was overcrowded with stranded flights and passengers, which in turn forced them to sit where they were.
Another passenger, Venkatesh Pahwa, describes the incident, “Everybody was fighting with each other and the flight attendants were fighting with us, and we were fighting with the flight attendants.”
The airline has only reported that ‘unprecedented fog’ delayed flights within the area and caused congestion within the Middle Eastern airport. Flight 183 was only one of the planes affected by the ordeal, as there were others trapped on the tarmac, too.
To make matters worse, the ultra-long haul operating crew exceeded their allotted flight time and had to be replaced by the airline, ensuring the wait took even longer. According to passenger Ravali Reddy, however, “ “No one was angry about the delay itself. If it’s unsafe to fly, we don’t want to fly,” she said.
“It just didn’t seem to make any logical sense why we had to stay on the plane.”
In the end, the hundreds of passengers arrived in San Francisco, albeit late.