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Tue, Sep 05, 2006

NWA Flight 44 Passengers Feeling VERY Minnesota

Held On Plane For 10 Hours... Without Leaving State

It normally takes about eight hours to get from Minneapolis-St. Paul to London Gatwick aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 44. But 10 hours after the plane left Minneapolis-St. Paul Saturday night... the 255 passengers on board were still in Minnesota.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the ordeal began when electrical smoke coming from the inflight entertainment system forced the DC-10's crew to make a precautionary landing in Duluth, shortly after taking off from MSP. Once on the ground in Duluth... the plane sat on a taxiway for more than six hours, while technicians worked their magic on the problem

Finally, as many as 15 passengers decided they'd had enough -- and chose to leave the flight. But then their baggage had to be pulled -- adding even more time.

Alas, it didn't end there. As the plane was finally taxiing out at 5:00 am Sunday morning... the Northwest crew realized they couldn't make the flight without breaking rules about work hours. So, they ended up taxiing back to the terminal.

So much for that merry little trip to London. After being stuck on board the plane for 10 hours... the passengers were finally allowed to go... wherever.

Northwest spokesman Dean Breest said passengers were offered hotel accomodations for the inconvenience, and that most went back to Minneapolis-St. Paul to board another plane for London.

"Northwest Airlines apologizes for the inconvenience," Breest said.

FMI: www.nwa.com

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