A Delta flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with 270 passengers was stranded on a remote military base in Canada overnight after it conducted an emergency landing Sunday, the airline said.
“Delta flight 135 operating from Amsterdam to Detroit on Dec. 10 experienced a mechanical issue and diverted to Goose Bay, Newfoundland Sunday afternoon out of an abundance of caution,” a Delta spokesperson said in a statement.
Happy Valley-Goose Bay is a town on the northeast coast of Canada with a population of less than 10,000. It is home to a Canadian air force base with a runway long enough to accommodate the plane’s emergency landing.
But after switching planes and waiting for hours to resume their journey, a staffing issue grounded them for the night.
Shikha Joshi, who was on the flight with her 4-year-old son, told NBC News that Canadian customs took passengers to the military barracks in groups of 25-30.
“Boarded a new plane after waiting 7+ hours, waited an hour after boarding for take off only to hear that the crew and pilot have finished their allotted hours of flying and need to rest now for 10-12 hours. Now Delta is looking for accommodations for us all,” Joshi wrote in an Instagram story.
Each family was given a key to a room with basic amenities, where they slept for around two hours before a bus arrived to take them to another plane, Joshi said.
A Delta spokesperson said the airline worked with officials in Goose Bay to arrange for food, water and accommodations for passengers from Sunday into Monday.
“Crew duty times were impacted due to weather and runway conditions at the Goose Bay airport causing the airport to suspend operations,” the airline said in a statement. “Delta sent additional aircraft to Goose Bay to bring customers to their final destination Monday.”
Representatives at Goose Bay Airport could not be reached for comment.
Delta apologized to customers for the inconvenience and told NBC News that it will compensate the customers, but declined to get into specifics.
Joshi listed some of the things Delta could have done better following the emergency landing, including communicating more effectively with passengers, providing meals, and reducing the amount of time that passengers had to wait for information or a new plan of action.
“If we didn’t land when we did then the engine would have failed as the de-icing feature stopped working,” Joshi wrote in her Instagram story. “I am grateful for everything that has happened, but the aftermath could have been handled way better by Delta.”
Passengers on the plane were given snacks like Rice Krispies bars, granola bars and baked goods from Tim Hortons, according to photos Joshi posted.
Passengers made it back to Detroit after more than 24 hours.