(Jamaica Gleaner) At least 12 American Airlines passengers who were scheduled to depart the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston to Miami, last evening refused to board the aircraft which had mechanical and electrical problems earlier today.
Flight AA2038 was scheduled to depart at 8:45 yesterday morning, but never left until 7:53 p.m.
“They first told us that plane was defective and they had to get some parts from Miami, and the aircraft would leave at 10:00 a.m, then they said 2:00 p.m, which moved to 4:00 p.m and the time went on and on,” says Margaret Wadsworth, a passenger who spent 13 hours waiting at the airport.
According to Wadsworth, when she and the other passengers eventually boarded the aircraft at 5:30 p.m, inside the plane was extremely hot.
“Some of us started to panic, and within minutes we were told there was an electrical problem,” she said.
The airline was forced to disembark all the passengers, where further checks were made, after which the aircraft departed, but not before the 12 passengers and their bags were delisted.
Cheryl Campbell, a mother with her three-year-old daughter, who was booked enroute to Baltimore, Maryland, said if she had refused to go on the aircraft she would have been forced to wait for the next available flight and that could take several days.”
An American Airlines official said once the passengers requested to be taken off, the airline was obliged to adhere to their request.
She also said there was no other flight that could accommodate the passengers all day today.
“Our flights were full, so were the other carriers that they asked to transfer on,” said the airline official, when asked about transferring the passengers to Caribbean Airlines.
“There was nothing we could do but to have them wait until the problem was fixed.”