CHARLOTTE — American Airlines passengers reported being stuck at the gate or on the tarmac at Charlotte Douglas International Airport for nearly six hours on Sunday afternoon.
Passengers said there was no air conditioning on the plane.
It happened after a flight to New York was delayed due to maintenance and weather issues.
A family had spent $300 on tickets to the Mets game, but due to delays, they didn’t make it. Another man missed the second half of his trip.
A passenger who was on the flight is a journalist from our partner, The Charlotte Observer. She said it was another example of cross-country travel nightmare.
She said many of these passengers were emotional.
Genna Contino, another passenger, described the flight in three words: “long, hot and stressful”.
Contino said the flight to JFK was scheduled to depart around 1 p.m., but she said passengers were seated on the plane for three hours before being asked to disembark and board another.
After that, she said they had to wait a two-hour storm before finally leaving Charlotte Douglas – a total of six hours later.
Contino said at one point people on the plane were trying to console an emotional passenger.
“People were very angry. And just like a lot of audible moans,” Contino said. “Like, every time the pilot made an announcement, ‘Oh, there’s another delay.’ Like, people were just talking on it.
An American Airlines representative blamed a mechanical problem and bad weather for the delay, and they said passengers were allowed off the plane while it was at the gate.
But Contino said those who decided to stay in their seats expected better service.
“We only had water service at one point very early on. A lot of people hadn’t had lunch because of the time of the flight,” she said. “There was no food offered except for small biscuits.”
She says she learned a lesson from the experience and has advice to share with others.
She said to keep medicine, snacks and a change of clothes in your carry-on.
Contino told Channel 9 that she filed a formal complaint with American Airlines and said they sent her a $125 credit.
She said her flight cost more than the credit she received, but she was luckier than passengers who missed major events.
Contino said she was relieved to share her story from New York, safe and sound.
“When the plane landed, people burst into applause,” Contino said. “And they were like, ‘We never thought we’d get to this point.'”
(WATCH BELOW: Summer travel tips for traveling from Charlotte Douglas or anywhere else)
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