Back to Squawk list
  • 8

Stranded Virgin Atlantic Passengers Sleep ‘All Over the Floor’ at Airport

A Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to make an emergency landing this weekend, forcing more than 250 passengers to spend the night “all over the floor” in a Newfoundland, Canada, airport. The flight departed from London and was scheduled to arrive at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport just before midnight Saturday but instead made an emergency landing at Gander International Airport after pilots noticed a fuel leak mid-flight. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Jim Morvay 6
It's amazing how people take flying for granted. Those who complained needed a reality check. If the pilot didn't report the leak, then what? Well, run out of fuel and fall out of the sky, plane explodes? These people, albeit tired, impatient and angry, should be thankful that the crew did their job by ensuring the safety of it's could have gone down a whole lot worse than being stuck in a small airport.
preacher1 3
Stuff can and does break, no matter how good the mx program, and whether old or new plane. Your post is right on, but probably falls on deaf ears.
as a preacher you should know. We teach to the choir most of the time.,
PhotoFinish 1
Ha! You're not kidding.

I laughed when some passenger complained that there were people laying down on bathroom floor and bathroom counter, since the small airport was so jammed. First, I was impressed the bathrooms were clean enough that people were ok with laying down on the floor. But also, I can't imagine feeling the need to sleep that close to the stalls.

But all that silliness aside, the captain did a great job of getting out of the sky when a potentially catostrophic condition seemed to appear, and making sure everyone was safe, even if some did choose to relax in the loo.

Where Virgin seemed to drop the ball is keeping the stranded passengers on the ground for nearly 24 hours, when there weren't hotel rooms available in the area.

Wouldn't it have made sense to dispatch a plane to go pick up the stranded passengers. Virgin has at least one plane hanging out overnight at either Boston, Newark, or JFK, thar could've been used with little or no interference with the next day's flights. Especially in the New York area with 2 bases, they must've had sufficient crew avaiable. Maybe if on extended rest, they were out enjoying their layover, and might not have qualified for duty because of recent alcohol consumption, even if sufficiently rested.

I would imagine a charter could also be arranged with little notice. With so many planes sitting overnight and so many crew sitting available on reserve, a quicker solution to minimize the impact to passengers.

Though any outcome after a safe landing will always be less problematic than the alternative.
preacher1 1
I came back into FSM late one evening and 7 eagle flights had been diverted in there because of wx at DFW. They got out of their origins before DFW did the ground stop. It was after hours for the terminal as far as concessions went and pax were piled everywhere but they had restrooms, a softer seat than on the plane, AC and water. They had to stay about 3 hours, not all night but they were all bitching. Just goes to show, no pleasin'.
Those poor souls. How on earth were they able to endure such hardship? Probably weren't even able to get a Starbucks.
preacher1 2
sparkie624 3
LOL, watch the old program called Airline that featured SWA... People sleeping on the floor everywhere... Watch Miami 24X7 and you will see it. What is the big deal... At least we are not discussing the crash details.
PhotoFinish 1
Plus, if the flight blows up over the Atlantic, we wouldn't know for a long time what happened. We'd be discussing it for a long time, speculating quite a lot (unless the pilots communicate the issue back to central ops, before the loss.

I'd much rather be discussing plane and crew availability and ops decision making.
sparkie624 3
You got it... And if I have to ground a plane for a maintenance reason, and it takes a cancel or a delay I am not going to apologize... It is better than contacting your next of kin and telling them... Well we thought it would be ok... Sorry guys... I will ground one in a heart beat. I had a nose tire just this week that the captain was concerned with. He sent me a few pictures and said he would write it up at the next station. I told him no... Sent a mechanic out to evaluate. It got 2 new nose tires.. (always replace them in pairs, helps eliminate nose wheel vibrations). that is just one of many examples.. Blame maintenance now and sometimes for being too safe, but it is better than not being a safe enough.

I hope no one ever calls your family to issue condolences because some thought that it would be ok.

Over water.. Even more careful... ETOPS, Engine Turn or People Swim.... Hope you never have to prove the later. :)
PhotoFinish 1
How long would it typically take to diagnose and repair a fuel leak (that you'd be comfortable putting that plane back into service with a planeful of passengers? best case scenario at a major base? how about a far out of the way small airport (Gander comes to mind for some reason)?

sparkie624 3
With a mechanic on site in a hub 5 minutes... Is all you need to do is to establish the drip rate over 1 minute and then compare to a chart. Cut and dried.. All different fluids are different. I think for fuel 1 drop in 1 min is ok, 2-4 drops per min recheck once daily, 5 drops per min grounded.

Cut and dry.. All in the AMM. Same for Hydraulics, you are allowed different leak rates for where the item is and it give you the limits. Some areas will be zero leak rate tolerance. Some leaks example fuel leaks on an engine is zero tolerance and 1 drop an hour will ground it... Don't want to test the Big Bang Theory at 30+ thousand feet if you get my drift.
I remember the advent of the low cost airlines; People Express, etc. .. with people sleeping all over the terminal at EWR on a daily basis.
sparkie624 2
LOL, if that is the only way they can afford to fly, they certainly cannot afford a hotel room.
Toby Sharp 2
First World Problems.
I have spent a number of nights at Gander Airport. Sleeping on the floor might be as good as some of the local hotels.
joel wiley 2
Common thread of all the complaints- they're all alive to kvetch.
Did they expect Gander to install Paxhooks to hang them on the wall?
Wallace24 is right. Latte-deprived tend to be testy.
Ric Wernicke 1
I have slept at the "Hotel Del Piso" all over the world. It is better than taking flight in bad weather or a troubled aircraft.

(Piso means floor in Spanish)
sparkie624 1
I am glad you clarified the Spanish... LOL, I envisioned something a little different.
joel wiley 1
You were thinking Los Banos?


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
This website uses cookies. By using and further navigating this website, you accept this.
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.