Passengers aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit spent the night at a military barracks in eastern Canada after a technical problem forced the plane to land.

The crew diverted the flight to Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday afternoon, WJBK-TV first reported.

Passenger Tony Santoro, of Troy in suburban Detroit, told the television station that passengers were being housed in barracks during the 24-hour delay. “It honestly felt like a hotel,” he said. “It was not so bad. We had soap, water, everything.”

Delta Flight 135 was diverted to Goose Bay Airport “out of an abundance of caution,” the airline said in a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday. “Crew duty hours were impacted due to weather and runway conditions at Goose Bay Airport, resulting in the airport suspending operations. “Delta sent additional aircraft to Goose Bay on Monday to take customers to their final destination.”

Delta worked with officials in Goose Bay to arrange food, water and accommodation Sunday through Monday, the airlines said, adding that passengers would be compensated for the inconvenience.

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Nathan Johnson, 45, was one of the passengers stuck on the tarmac with his wife for hours waiting to take off after their flight was diverted to Goose Bay Airport. Johnson said the passengers were on the tarmac for five hours waiting for another plane to arrive that would take them to Detroit.

When the second plane finally arrived, Johnson said, the passengers boarded and then learned that the crew had timed out on Sunday and they had to get off again. Johnson and the passengers were finally taken to the military barracks on school buses around 6 a.m. Monday.

Like the rest of the passengers, Johnson had arrived at the barracks unprepared to spend the night without checked bags and toiletries. Some passengers did not have coats in the cold Canadian weather.

Johnson said he and his wife were forced to sleep in the clothes he had been wearing since leaving Munich, Germany, hours earlier.

“We were taken back to the rooms not knowing what our next time would be, when we would wake up or when we should be ready,” he said. “There was no communication.”

Johnson said he looked out the window at 11 a.m. Monday and saw buses driving. So he and his wife hurried to take the buses back to the airport, where they had to go through security again, even though only a sparse staff was prepared to help all the passengers. Their next flight didn’t leave until 5pm as snow was falling outside.

Johnson’s wife had been receiving medical treatment in Germany, so the two were exhausted and anxious to return to their home in Lansing, Michigan.

“It was kind of surreal,” he said. “It marred our entire visit.”

Dupuy is a news producer in New York. Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Source : www.usatoday.com

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