British Airways passengers sleeping on the ground

SlaterRosie/Twitter Remix by Samantha Grasso

British Airways customers livetweet nightmarish 77-hour trip

Children slept on the floors of JFK airport.


Samantha Grasso


Posted on Nov 5, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 2:26 am CDT

British Airways customers fumed on Twitter this weekend after their intercontinental flight from Orlando, Florida, to London was delayed multiple times, taking a total of 77 hours for passengers to reach their destination.

According to BBC News, passengers say they survived a “journey from hell” after their flight was delayed, diverted to New York, then delayed again, causing many families to spend the night at New York’s JFK airport, before they were finally flown to London, nearly three days after their initial scheduled departure. More than 200 passengers were affected.

British Airways flight 2036 was scheduled to leave on Thursday at 7:25pm ET. However, the passengers were required to wait on the plane for four hours after boarding for the repair of a “technical fault.” After those four hours, they left the plane and were arranged to stay at a nearby hotel for the night. The plane was then delayed an additional two times, reportedly with little communication of this to passengers, before they left the hotel for the airport at 8pm ET.

The plane finally left Orlando at 1am ET on Saturday. But 40 minutes into the flight, the plane was diverted to New York’s JFK airport for experiencing the same technical fault. The passengers say they then waited until 6am ET on Saturday for British Airways staff to arrive and were told they couldn’t book people into nearby hotels because they were booked for the New York Marathon. So, families and children slept on the floors of the terminal, with many continuing to tweet about the conditions.

At one point, British Airways had offered the passengers meals from their business lounge at JFK, but passenger Sarah Wilson, who was coming home from a “dream” family trip to Disney World, said that passengers weren’t informed about the food. Eventually, passengers finally left New York on Saturday evening and arrived Sunday night.

In a statement to BBC News, British Airways apologized to passengers for the lack of communication. It wrote it “appreciated that this was an exhausting and frustrating experience” for passengers, and apologized for the “long delay.” However, it asserted that, despite passengers being left without hotels in New York, “our teams on the ground cared for customers in our first class lounge providing bedding, food and drinks to ensure they were comfortable during their stay.”

H/T Twitter

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*First Published: Nov 5, 2018, 11:40 am CST