Miserable passengers remained on Etihad Airways flight 183 for 12 hours while it was stuck in Abu Dhabi. (Photo: AP)
Passengers were livid after landing in San Francisco following a half-day delay that left them stranded on the tarmac in Abu Dhabi without adequate food or information about what was happening.
Fog in Abu Dhabi delayed takeoff for Etihad Airways Flight 183 for twelve hours during which time the passengers were kept on the plane.
"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 landing on Saturday evening.
According to the Associated Press, passengers said 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.
The airline told Yahoo Travel in a statement that “passengers were provided with refreshments and were updated about the reasons for the rolling delay caused by extreme weather conditions.”
The airline insists that the “delay was compounded by the requirement they replace the aircraft’s ultra-long haul operating crew who had exceeded their flight limitations.”
Flight attendants eventually passed out sandwiches and water after some people made a fuss over the lack of food, passenger Ravali Reddy told the Associated Press.
"No one was angry about the delay itself. If it’s unsafe to fly, we don’t want to fly," she said. "It just didn’t seem to make any logical sense why we had to stay on the plane."