Remote Canadian town welcomes passengers from diverted Delta flight


A Canadian province known for the warmth and hospitality shown to thousands of airline passengers diverted after the 9/11 attacks has once again welcomed hundreds of surprise visitors, this time due to what Delta Air Lines described as a “mechanical issue” with one of its planes.

The company said the flight, which left Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon bound for Detroit, was forced to land in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, a town of about 8,000 people in the northeastern province of Newfoundland and Labrador, after that an engine defrost stopped working.

The 270 passengers, three pilots and seven flight attendants spent the night at an Army barracks in the city, a Delta spokesperson said by email.

“Crew duty schedules were affected due to weather and runway conditions at Goose Bay Airport, causing the airport to suspend operations,” he said, noting that Delta sent additional planes to the airport to transport passengers to Detroit on Monday. “We apologize to customers for this inconvenience.”

On social media, some passengers described an ordeal where they waited more than 10 hours on the tarmac as weather conditions worsened and waited for another plane to pick them up.

“The wildest emergency landing” wrote a person.

Other begged: “Please send rescue!”

Trevor Wilson, a passenger returning home from a work trip in Europe, said in a telephone interview that he first realized something was wrong when the flight path on the seatback screen in front of him It seemed to show a sharp curve. Shortly afterward, crew members informed passengers about the problem with the defroster, said Wilson, 42.

After waiting on the plane for several hours, he said, the passengers were transferred to a second plane bound for Detroit, but were later informed that the crew's overtime meant they could no longer legally operate the plane. Then they gave the passengers pizza, he added, and took them to the army barracks for the night.

The Delta spokesman said the company had worked with officials at Goose Bay to arrange food, water and lodging, and would compensate customers for the experience, but declined to go into details.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it would investigate the diversion.

In 2001, thousands of airline passengers were stranded for days in Newfoundland and Labrador after dozens of planes were destroyed. diverted to the province after the September 11 attacks in the United States. Most of those planes were diverted to Gander, a town in northeastern Newfoundland whose benevolence during a global crisis inspired the award-winning musical. “Come from afar.”

Wilson, the passenger on the Delta plane, said he had thought of the musical almost instantly when he heard about the detour to Canada. “This is a small town, and the people there really wanted to help us,” he said, noting that locals had helped transport passengers onto buses and made them hot chocolate.

He added: “Everyone was super, super, super nice.”

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