An American Airlines Boeing 777 diverted to Tulsa, Oklahoma, only 50 minutes after departing Dallas, Texas. Flight number AA80 registered N717AN departed Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) at 21:54 CT on Monday, September 5th. The flight was bound for London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
At flight level 330, the captain announced that the flight would be diverted to Tulsa International Airport (TUL) due to a mechanical issue aboard the aircraft. The announcement came when the plane was northeast of Springfield, Missouri. The flight landed safely at 23:20 CT. All passengers and crew were accounted for.
Flight cut short
Upon arriving at TUL, the aircraft had to wait on the ramp for approximately two hours before a gate was open for the 777 to de board. TUL is a smaller airport; with roughly 300 additional passengers, the terminal filled up quickly. The passengers were required to wait in line to be assisted at American's two customer assistance counters.
The airline assured passengers that they would be rerouted to their final destinations. Initially, airline staff coordinated dozens of different routes passengers could take to reach London. However, the airline chose to dispatch another 777 to pick up the passengers and fly the rest of the journey to LHR. Below is a video posted by a passenger of flight AA80.
Once the first 777 was parked at the gate, maintenance personnel began an inspection. While the maintenance issue had not caused an emergency in the air, it was determined that it could not be resolved overnight. However, the cause of the maintenance issue has not yet been shared, and the airline has not issued any statements regarding the incident.
One week ago, another American Airlines 777 had to divert while en route to LHR. The flight had departed from Miami. The pilots began to smell smoke in the cockpit while in the Bermuda Triangle over the Atlantic Ocean. The pilots decided to backtrack to the tropical Island of Bermuda. All passengers and crew were reported safe on this flight as well.
Similar to the incident at TUL, the passengers quickly filled the Bermuda airport while they waited for the plane to get fixed. It was determined that the repairs would take longer than expected. No cause was stated for the smoke smell in the cockpit. These passengers were also rescued by another 777. The wait in the terminal had been much longer for those on the island. Nearly 24 hours after landing in Bermuda, the passengers again departed for LHR. The flight landed safely at LHR almost seven hours later.
During the lengthy delay in Bermuda, American Airlines apologized to all the passengers aboard the flight. After ten hours in the terminal, passengers were given meal vouchers to use in the airport. It is unclear if Tulsa passengers were given vouchers or any reimbursement for the delay. While this delay was significantly shorter, it is still anticipated that the airline will issue an apology to the passengers similar to the one it issued to those trapped in Bermuda.
This article originally appeared on Simple Flying