Passengers aboard Etihad Airways Flight 183 landed safe and sound in San Francisco but many were irritated after the total trip time was around 28-hours, 12 of those hours were spent on a tarmac in the Middle East absent of food and updates regarding their flight.
The flight departed from Abu Dhabi but was delayed due to fog, which resulted in the 12-hour departure delay. Etihad is the national airline of the United Arab Emirites.
According to passengers, they kept being told that the flight would takeoff “any minute now.” Passengers also said that the flight crew told them the Abu Dhabi airport was too crowded with other stranded flights to allow them to deboard the aircraft to wait.
After many passengers complained about the lack of food, flight attendants eventually passed out sandwiches and water to accommodate the frustrated passengers.
It seemed that the passengers were more upset about being stuck on the tarmac for 12-hours than the flight actually being delayed. Passengers understood the danger in taking off during severe fog, but they just wanted to deboard to relax and move around.
According to the Associated Press, the airline did apologize for the’ inconvenience but said the delays were beyond its control.
In the United States, the Department of Transportation prohibits lengthy tarmac delays. DOT regulation states that the maximum time allowed for international flights is four hours, and carriers must make sure passengers are provided adequate food and water during the ground delay.