Aeromexico Passengers Attempted to Escape Using Emergency Exits After 5 Hours of Sitting on the Runway
Two passengers aboard an Aeromexico flight were detained at Oakland International Airport on Thursday after attempting to escape their aircraft, which sat on a runway for nearly five hours.
Aeromexico Flight 622 from Guadalajara was scheduled to land at San Francisco International Airport at 10:11 a.m., but due to fog the flight was rerouted and forced to land in Oakland around 10:40.
But for more than four hours after landing, the plane did not move from the runway and conditions quickly turned.
Passengers sat in the cabin for hours without air conditioning, according to USA Today. Cabin crew allegedly ran out of food and water by 11 a.m., reported The Mercury News. Passengers fainted, were desperate for water, and some even called 911 to report that they were being held against their will in the aircraft.
“Babies were crying, people were passing out,” one passenger told The Mercury News.
After hours without help, passengers got desperate. One man announced that he would open the emergency exit and slide out if the passengers were not released. According to The Mercury News, the pilot called the county sheriff who arrived and detained two passengers who were later released without charges.
It wasn’t until 3:30 p.m. that the passengers were allowed to disembark, according to The Mercury News. The nearly-five-hour hold violated the U.S. Passenger Bill of Rights, which decrees that passengers can be held for no longer than four hours on a tarmac for international flights.
Oakland Airport said in a statement to USA Today “that it is an airline's decision whether to await clearance to return to the original destination or let passengers deplane at the diversion airport.”
In a statement, Aeromexico said that the delay was due to the fact that it does not have any operations at Oakland Airport. Therefore, the plane needed special authorization from airport authorities before passengers could disembark.