Tue, Sep 05, 2006
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
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