Flight 662 backstory: Why Aeromexico took nearly five hours to release passengers from plane at Oakland airportThe Mercury News #Bay_Area

Flight 662 backstory: Why Aeromexico took nearly five hours to release passengers from plane at Oakland airportThe Mercury News #Bay_Area

January 12, 2019 0 By NewsTakers


OAKLAND — It turns out, the Aeromexico flight from hell that languished on the Oakland airport tarmac for nearly five hours Thursday as sweaty passengers fainted, cried and screamed for help, could have been avoided.
After Flight 662 was diverted to Oakland from San Francisco because of fog, Oakland International Airport officials quickly offered a gate for the plane to park, but the flight crew turned it down.
The pilot told airport officials he planned to keep people aboard, quickly refuel and fly to SFO so the plane could make its return flight to Guadalajara later that afternoon, according to a source familiar with the incident.
Air traffic control discussions with the Aeromexico pilot, reviewed by Bay Area News Group, indicate the flight crew requested help from local authorities about 1:44 p.m. Thursday, saying angry passengers were forming groups and accusing the pilot of lying to them.
“He was going to do, I don’t know what and he was going to open doors and just threatened the life of the cabin crew.”
He explained how he told passengers four times how he could not open the doors because it would violate regulations.
After a couple hours, the crew told Oakland airport officials they expected to be on the ground another two hours before they could take off for San Francisco, the source said, which would eclipse the four-hour maximum set by the Passenger Bill of Rights for international flights at U.S. airports.
Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies first were alerted to a passenger threatening to open the aircraft door shortly before 1:30 p.m., according to Sgt.
One from a man who said he was going to open the plane’s door and another who reported a woman had fainted, Kelly said.
Around 2 p.m., an air traffic controller asked the pilot how he’d rate the threat level on the plane from 1 to 5.

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