Hundreds of passengers were stranded for hours on an Etihad Airways flight (without adequate food) bound for San Francisco over the weekend. Fog grounded Flight 183 on a tarmac in Abu Dhabi for 12 hours.
Tempers grew short on Etihad Airways Flight 183 when fog in the city of Abu Dhabi delayed takeoff for a half-day, passengers told San Francisco broadcaster KGO.
“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 told reporters in San Francisco after finally landing in the city on Saturday evening.
Passengers said the flight crew told them the Abu Dhabi airport was too crowded with other stranded flights to allow them to get off the plane to wait.
“Everybody was fighting with each other, and the flight attendants were fighting with us, and we were fighting with the flight attendants,” passenger Venkatesh Pahwa said.
Etihad, a national airline of the United Arab Emirates, which includes Abu Dhabi, apologized for travelers’ inconvenience, saying the problem was largely beyond its control and it affected other airlines as well.
The airline told The Associated Press in a statement that “unprecedented fog” had delayed flights, caused airport congestion and Flight 183 was one of the planes most affected.
“The passengers remained on the aircraft as all efforts were being made to secure a new departure time. The delay was then compounded by the requirement to replace the aircraft’s ultra-long haul operating crew who had exceeded their flight time limitations,” the airline said.
The plane finally landed Saturday (Jan. 2) after 28 hours of flying, and waiting.
This is Etihad’s second mishap in recent weeks. On Christmas Day a computer glitch accidentally offered roundtrip tickets between New York City and Abu Dhabi for less than $200. The tickets were snatched up with the quickness (possibly by American customers previously unaware of the airline existed) before Etihad caught on and changed the prices back to normal.
Hopefully the weather issue doesn’t turn new customers away, because the airline looks like it offers some pretty sweet amenities.
Hit the gallery for photos.