STOCKTON (CBS13) – For passengers on Allegiant Airlines flight 161, an hour-long flight turned into a 17-hour journey.
“It was absolutely horrible,” said Jade Watts, who was flying from Vegas to Stockton.
The flight was scheduled to arrive at Stockton Metropolitan Airport on Monday night at 9:30 p.m. They got in on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Here’s what happened.
“The pilot comes on and says the control tower is closed,” said Watts.
The pilot couldn’t get ahold of anybody on the ground in Stockton.
“And they can’t land without a weather report,” she said.
So, the flight headed back to Las Vegas.
“He comes back on again and says there’s a thunderstorm in Vegas and zero visibility,” said Watts.
And what’s worse?
“They were concerned about gas so we have to go to the closest airport. Where are we going to freaking land?” she said.
Roughly 175 passengers were dropped off at LAX, eventually allowed to get off the plane.
“We had to go into a holding room,” said Watts.
And to make matters worse, “there’s no restroom in this holding room,” she said.
Finally, their flight was rescheduled for Tuesday, and passengers were given $250 ticket vouchers and left to fend for themselves.
“We had to find transportation and our own hotel rooms. There were people sleeping in the airport,” she said.
According to Allegiant Airlines, a visibility sensor that is a part of the airport’s weather reporting system and OKs planes to land went out and the Stockton control tower was closed, forcing the pilot to keep the plane in the air.
“You never hear of a control tower being closed. I just didn’t understand why the area is not manned by an actual person,” said Watts.