Tags: virgin | atlantic | passengers | stranded | 27 | hours

Virgin Atlantic Passengers Stranded for 27 Hours After Fuel Leak

Wednesday, 21 Aug 2013 07:35 PM

By Robin Farmer

More than 250 Virgin Atlantic passengers were stranded for 27 hours after an emergency landing in Newfoundland, Canada, where they were forced to sleep in the terminal, ABC News reported.

A suspected fuel leak diverted the plane and stretched what was scheduled to be an eight-hour flight into a 27-hour ordeal, passengers said.

After arriving at the tiny Gander airport, the passengers, who were flying to New York from Heathrow this past weekend, learned there were no available hotel rooms. So they slept where they could.

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“We were sleeping on the floor of the bathroom and on the counters in the bathroom. All over the floor in the airport,” passenger Anna Ninan said, according to ABC News.

A replacement aircraft from London delivered the passengers to their destination. The flight arrived at JFK Sunday evening.

“We’re just really, really thankful to be in New York,” passenger Maya Torayn told ABC.

In a statement reported by The Huffington Post, Virgin Atlantic thanked passengers for their patience and apologized “for the inconvenience caused. Due to the exceptional circumstances, as a gesture of goodwill we are offering all passengers a complimentary return flight with Virgin Atlantic for use at a later date.

Some commenters on ABC's story expressed little sympathy.

“Seems rather dramatic to me,” wrote one poster. “Doesn't this happen all the time? At least they were in a clean airport and not stuck on the plane for hours. Seems much more like an inconvenience rather than a ‘nightmare.’

Wrote another: “Oh boo hoo hoo — like your (sic) the only passengers that ever had to sleep in the airport overnight. You got a free ticket out of it so quit complaining. They got you to the ground safely with no incident so be thankful for that.”

Another poster said sleeping in the terminal beat the alternative.

“Guess it beats sleeping on the ocean floor,” she wrote.

A commenter at The Huffington Post agreed.

“I don't care if I have to sleep with my head in the toilet...ANYTHING beats an airplane crash. And I say that as someone who flew the very same ValueJet plane on the exact same path and destination one week before the everglades crash.”

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