A 4-hour flight became a 30-hour nightmare

NEW YORK: Imagine this: You just had a relaxing vacation in the Dominican Republic, and now it’s time to head back to New York City. It’s going to be cold in the Big Apple, but you’re taking with you warm memories. A four-hour flight is all that stands between you and your destination.


Delta Flight 944 was scheduled to take its 159 passengers from Punta Cana to John F. Kennedy International Airport on Monday, arriving at 6:15 p.m. local time.

But the plane didn’t land in New York until about 8 p.m. on Tuesday night. In the 28-ish hours between departing from the Dominican Republic and making it to their original destination, the unfortunate passengers saw almost everything modern air travel could throw at them.

The plane made it all the way to New York City but had to circle overhead because of heavy traffic at the airport. Eventually the pilot announced they were diverting to New Hampshire because they were running out of fuel, according to a local news channel.

The airport in Manchester, N.H., did not have customs agents to process passengers arriving from an international destination, so agents drove from Portland, Maine while passengers sat on the plane and waited.

Delta put the passengers up in a hotel Monday night, according to an other news channel, to get them to New York on Tuesday. That flight was not blessed, either.

Severe wind and turbulence caused the flight to divert to Boston.

“It was really bad. I never experienced turbulence like that. I thought the plane was going to break in half. The pilot described it as a blender,” Maribel Reyes, a passenger on the flight, told NBC. “There were a lot of people getting sick, several people needed oxygen.”

When the plane landed in Boston, more than a few passengers called it quits, according to Gothamist.

Some bought Amtrak tickets, some rented cars basically anything to avoid another flight on what can only be described as a cursed trip. About 90 of the original 159 passengers were on the final flight to JFK, Gothamist reported.

Delta passengers were not the only ones facing extreme air travel this week. An AirAsia flightout of Kuala Lumpur was diverted twice due to passenger illnesses, and 36 hours later the other passengers have not yet made it to their destination in Australia.

“The safety of our customers and crew members is Delta’s top priority,” Delta said in a statement. “We apologized to the customers on board and provided a gesture of service recovery.”


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