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Passengers on an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to New York were delayed for six hours on two boiling planes without food or water as fellow passengers roared with laughter around them.
Flight 327 departed with high hopes of leaving the runway on Sunday at 1:07 p.m. from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, scheduled to land at JFK three hours later.
However, after the passengers boarded, the flight crew identified a “maintenance problem” and takeoff was delayed while repairmen worked to fix the problem, according to airline spokesman Will Roach.
Passengers comfort a Spanish-speaking woman who appeared to be having a panic attack that caused her to cry during the long delay.
Three hours later, the problem persisted.
“I sat on a plane with limited air conditioning for three hours while they fixed the fuel tank,” Charlotte Observer reporter Genna Contino tweeted during the extended break in her trip to the Big Apple.
“Turns out they can’t fix it and now we’re switching planes,” Contino said.
The airline said it kept the plane’s bridge connected throughout the delay with the “preconditioned air duct connected and the gate open” during repair work.
Flight 327 departed with high hopes of leaving the runway on Sunday at 1:07 p.m. from Charlotte Douglas International Airport, but did not take off until 6 p.m.
That was little consolation to some passengers who became angry and lashed out over the delays.
‘Going into hour 6 of sitting on a plane with no air conditioning, no food or drink service. Someone on the flight is having a mental breakdown. This is wild,” she tweeted.
Contino, who was on his way to attend a tax reporting conference at the City University of New York School of Journalism, told MailOnline that a Spanish-speaking woman seemed to be complaining about the harsh conditions on the flight and began to mourn. the long delay.
American Airlines blamed lightning for delaying the flight, but passenger Genna Contino said there was no storm.
“She was crying, it looked like an anxiety or panic attack,” she said.
A couple sitting near her had won $300 tickets to the MLB Interleague Subway Series opener and missed the chance to see the Mets defeat the Yankees 6-3.
“They completely missed the game,” she said.
Contino said she was “trauma bonding” with other passengers who grew increasingly frustrated as time went on.
She boarded the plane at 12:45, hoping the wheels would go up shortly after 1:00 p.m. m.
After the initial announcement of a delay, flight attendants reached out and offered parched passengers a half glass of water, Contino said.
After a few hours, hope was fading and every time the pilot spoke over the intercom, which he said was infrequent, passengers grunted and yelled ‘Give us free booze!’
But nothing came to ease the pain of waiting, she said.
The airline spokesman insisted passengers were allowed to move and disembark if they needed to, but Contino said that was inconsistent with his experience.
“Somebody next to me said they tried to leave, but they were told no,” he said.
As they entered hour three, the pilot announced that they were going to change planes and the travelers were ushered from the Boeing 737 to the waiting room.
“They didn’t say go get food or you have time to eat,” he said.
Crews from US flights boarded another flight to Orlando, Florida, as weary passengers huddled nearby, not wanting to miss their flight.
“I just went to get a sandwich,” Contino said. I just hoped I didn’t miss my flight.
At least one passenger bought another ticket on a different flight after giving up hope on Flight 327.
The flight crew eventually boarded them on another flight at 4:30, but the airline claimed that due to lightning in the area, the plane was grounded again until 5:58, according to Roach.
“It wasn’t a storm and they never said anything about a storm,” Contino said.
She said the flight attendants apologized profusely during the ordeal.
“They didn’t do anything wrong,” she said. “It was a bad situation all around.”
She said attendees helped by showing them how to fill out complaint forms on the airline’s website and that Contino has already received a $125 flight credit.
“We know it can be frustrating when travel doesn’t go as planned, and we apologize to our customers for the inconvenience,” Roach said in an email.
When the flight finally landed at JFK in Queens at 7:30 p.m., Contino said there was cheering in the cabin.
“Everyone clapped,” she said. We didn’t think we would make it.