An American 777’s Rough Diversion To Bermuda

An American 777’s Rough Diversion To Bermuda

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An American Airlines Boeing 777 operating a transatlantic flight had to divert to Bermuda, and it sounds like it was a really unpleasant experience for passengers.

American Boeing 777 diverts to Bermuda

On Sunday August 28, 2022, American Airlines flight AA38 was scheduled to fly from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR). The flight was operated by a nine year old Boeing 777-300ER with the registration code N724AN.

Just under three hours after departure, the pilots made the decision to divert to the nearest suitable airport, which was L.F. Wade International Airport in Bermuda (BDA). This was because the pilots reported smoke in the cockpit, and there was also a smoke indicator for the electronic equipment compartment. The plane ended up landing in Bermuda nearly four hours after departing Miami, at 12:57AM local time.

AA38 diversion to Bermuda

At this point American Airlines worked on the logistics of flying a replacement Boeing 777-300ER to Bermuda. That’s obviously no small task, especially when you need a new crew as well. American ended up sourcing the plane and crew from New York (JFK). In the meantime the crew from this flight headed to hotels in Bermuda, since they wouldn’t be able to operate another flight anyway, without timing out.

The passengers on the flight were ushered into the terminal, but weren’t allowed to leave the airport. That’s because Bermuda requires a travel authorization plus coronavirus testing to enter, and (understandably) passengers didn’t have that. Furthermore, American was unable to find enough hotel rooms for passengers.

Passengers spend 20+ hours in airport terminal

Long story short, passengers ended up spending 20+ hours in the terminal at Bermuda Airport — they arrived at 12:57AM and departed at 9:32PM. Admittedly it takes time to find a replacement aircraft and crew, and on top of that the flight presumably had to be timed to avoid London Heathrow’s curfew, so that the flight wouldn’t arrive in the middle of the night.

Flight status for AA38

It sounds like the 300+ passengers weren’t especially well taken care of at the airport. They were initially only offered pretzels and cookies to eat.

The first “real” food they got was at around 12PM, 11 hours after they arrived at the airport.

According to a passenger, health authorities were also standing by to potentially conduct rapid antigen tests in case the airline made the decision to let people into the country. It seemed to be an “all or nothing” deal, and American allegedly made the decision to keep passengers in the terminal. This was because American apparently couldn’t find enough hotel rooms for all passengers, which was a requirement of letting travelers enter the country.

I can appreciate the complicated logistics of all this, but it still seems kind of unfair to “force” people to stay inside a terminal for this long.

Finally, after 20+ hours in the terminal, the replacement Boeing 777 took off to London. After a 6hr36min flight, it landed there at 8:37AM, nearly 24 hours behind schedule.

AA38 flight from Bermuda to London

Bottom line

An American Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Miami to London diverted to Bermuda due to a mechanical issue. American then sent a replace plane and crew, but that took some time, so passengers were stranded in the terminal in Bermuda for over 20 hours.

Even as the world continues to open up to travelers, the logistics of travel remain complicated, especially when ending up in countries you didn’t intend to travel to that still have restrictions.

Authorities in Bermuda claim that passengers could have entered the country with testing, but American made the decision not to allow that, presumably because the airline didn’t want to deal with the cost and logistics, and couldn’t find enough hotel rooms.

What do you make of this American Airlines diversion?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Conversations (60)
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  1. Mack Simons Guest

    American Airlines made the best decision in the passenger’s best interests. If they had sent them to hotels they would still be there and the situation would be worse. No easy answers to this one. All’s well that ends well!

  2. Tod Guest

    People are too needy. it was an emergency , get over it.

  3. RMK Guest

    What was AA supposed to do if THERE ARE NO HOTEL ROOMS AVAILABLE? There are times even in places like Las Vegas where the city is booked to capacity. Bermuda is a very small island, so I can understand that no hotel rooms are available.
    You are looking at a diversion to a small airport in the middle of the Atlantic with limited resources, that may get one diversion like this per decade. So...

    What was AA supposed to do if THERE ARE NO HOTEL ROOMS AVAILABLE? There are times even in places like Las Vegas where the city is booked to capacity. Bermuda is a very small island, so I can understand that no hotel rooms are available.
    You are looking at a diversion to a small airport in the middle of the Atlantic with limited resources, that may get one diversion like this per decade. So yea it may be tough to get things put together. Airlines are not magicians and it takes time to put things together.

    1. Jakeroberts212 Guest

      A small airport in the middle of the Atlantic? You realize BDA has multiple flights per day on several US carriers to cities along the East Coast and BA flys a 777 daily to London. How small do you think Bermuda is. It’s not like it’s Easter Island or something isolated like that.

      The fact AA wouldn’t even approve for the Bermuda authorities to give out antigen tests so they could find their own...

      A small airport in the middle of the Atlantic? You realize BDA has multiple flights per day on several US carriers to cities along the East Coast and BA flys a 777 daily to London. How small do you think Bermuda is. It’s not like it’s Easter Island or something isolated like that.

      The fact AA wouldn’t even approve for the Bermuda authorities to give out antigen tests so they could find their own accommodation for the night shows how poor this service recovery from AA was. On top of that the diversion was due to *their* equipment failing, not something out of their control like a medical diversion or weather. Poor, poor, POOR performance from AA all the way around. It’s indefensible.

    2. Denis Guest

      Even if there are no rooms, I'm certain Bermuda can offer better meals outside the airport

  4. JayTee Guest

    It’s American, what can u expect? No contingencies for anything and all on the cheap. I once had an LH aircraft damaged by a food truck in SIN - within 2hours we were sitting at a dinner buffet in a hotel - granted Bermuda is much smaller but clearly the main issue was AA not wanting to pay for hotels for anyone..

  5. Tom Guest

    But did you die…..? No, one off problem. I’ve had flights canceled because of leaking toilet, crews timing out, engine cowling falling off during landing. I finally got to my destination safe and sound. Shit happens.

    1. Jakeroberts212 Guest

      What a daft response. Getting stranded in a foreign country where the airline you’ve entrusted to get you safely from point A-B has to divert because their plane malfunctioned and then they refused to allow passengers to take antigen tests to be able to leave the airport is indefensible.

      Your analogy to being at the airport and your flight getting canceled where you’re free to either go back home or to a hotel is...

      What a daft response. Getting stranded in a foreign country where the airline you’ve entrusted to get you safely from point A-B has to divert because their plane malfunctioned and then they refused to allow passengers to take antigen tests to be able to leave the airport is indefensible.

      Your analogy to being at the airport and your flight getting canceled where you’re free to either go back home or to a hotel is so off base it’s sad. There’s nothing similar between what these passengers experienced and your comparisons.

    2. CAP53 Guest

      When you consider that AA is no longer AA since the takeover by USAir in 2013, it’s no surprise here. They very well could have given the passengers the antigen test so they could enter the country, but chose not to do what is right. Instead they have them enclosed in a small space with very little to eat & drink like caged animals, because they are so cheap. A low cost carrier with big letters on its aircraft.

  6. XPL Diamond

    Me, I'll focus on what lesson can I learn from this. Whenever I fly I should have in my personal item (not carry-on, it might get gate checked) a few things to tide me through should the unexpected happen. A few day's worth of needed medications. Snacks. Eye shades and ear plugs. A windbreaker (small yet can be surprisingly warm). Some cash. All this regardless of destination, flight duration, expected weather, cabin class, elite status,...

    Me, I'll focus on what lesson can I learn from this. Whenever I fly I should have in my personal item (not carry-on, it might get gate checked) a few things to tide me through should the unexpected happen. A few day's worth of needed medications. Snacks. Eye shades and ear plugs. A windbreaker (small yet can be surprisingly warm). Some cash. All this regardless of destination, flight duration, expected weather, cabin class, elite status, or fancy-pants credit card, because stuff happens and tweeting about how unfair it is (even if it really is unfair) isn't what will make the experience any more comfortable.

  7. JDee Diamond

    Sympathy for these passengers was noticeably missing for the Jetstar passengers recently stranded in Terminal 3 at Narita

  8. Brooklyn fly guy Guest

    There is no question that AA dropped the big ball in the handling of the diversion after the fact. But I take extreme exception with those criticizing the crew for their choice of diversion airport. With an issue as serious as smoke in the cockpit and smoke indication, I would want the only deciding factor uppermost in the pilot’s mind to be where to set down as quickly as they can to the nearest airport....

    There is no question that AA dropped the big ball in the handling of the diversion after the fact. But I take extreme exception with those criticizing the crew for their choice of diversion airport. With an issue as serious as smoke in the cockpit and smoke indication, I would want the only deciding factor uppermost in the pilot’s mind to be where to set down as quickly as they can to the nearest airport. While dealing with a potential fire onboard I sure would not want their attention diverted by having to think about what the best airport to divert to for passenger service. And yes uppermost in my mind is Swissair 111.
    Again, what happened after the diversion could have and should have been handled so much better by American.

  9. Anthony Joseph Guest

    Pete Buttegieg hopefully will fully adopt the EU policy protecting passengers with appropriate financial compensation/accommodation that has now been in place prior to the pandemic.

    The US carriers were some of the biggest beneficiaries in the pandemic bailouts, yet culled their staffing and now caught flatfooted with the rebound in travel with staffing on the grouind and in the air.

    But since they don't have "costly" penalties for each hour a passenger is delayed...

    Pete Buttegieg hopefully will fully adopt the EU policy protecting passengers with appropriate financial compensation/accommodation that has now been in place prior to the pandemic.

    The US carriers were some of the biggest beneficiaries in the pandemic bailouts, yet culled their staffing and now caught flatfooted with the rebound in travel with staffing on the grouind and in the air.

    But since they don't have "costly" penalties for each hour a passenger is delayed getting to their destination, they do this shoddy type of work. Saved them the expense of paying for COVID tests and hotel accommodations and meals.

  10. iamhere Guest

    So the plane ended up going back to Miami - but I thought you said they sent another plane from JFK? Actually anyone traveling I am unsure why they do not have an up-to-date COVID test with them. If I was one of the few on the flight with such I may have been more lucky to enter Bermuda. With the complex travel arrangements and various rules in different places it can't hurt and many...

    So the plane ended up going back to Miami - but I thought you said they sent another plane from JFK? Actually anyone traveling I am unsure why they do not have an up-to-date COVID test with them. If I was one of the few on the flight with such I may have been more lucky to enter Bermuda. With the complex travel arrangements and various rules in different places it can't hurt and many places not not accept the self antigen tests. With regards to food, people couldn't go to the lounges or restaurants?!?!?! The bigger issue is they did not want to pay for it.

  11. JZLerner Guest

    I was a passenger on this flight. I have extensively detailed to ordeal on the Flyertalk AA forum. American broke significant right to care duties, lied about entry restrictions and overall behaved very unprofessionally. One of the worst parts was an AA staff member had to be physically pulled back by airport security as he was lashing out at passengers. And what have AA offered to make it write? 35,000 miles and not even an apology

  12. Ritson Guest

    This was not Bermuda’s fault and yet this writer tries to blame us despite the onus being on American Airlines to take care of their passengers. Instead AA chose to not allow the passengers to leave, did not provide them with food and we’re too cheap to pay for hotel rooms for them. It was NOT our Covid regulations that kept them in the airport, it was AA. Not to mention it was also AA’s fault to put them in a malfunctioning airplane.

    1. RMK Guest

      Have you ever heard of a time when someone left home and their car was functioning perfectly fine, then about 30 minutes later it breaks down? How could AA be too cheap to pay for hotels if there was none available? How can you pay for something thats not available to be sold? Are you really that fucking stupid?

    2. Jakeroberts212 Guest

      @RMK - Before you ever question whether someone is “that fucking stupid” you better have receipts ready to prove that every.single.hotel was booked and there was absolutely no availability at any properties on the island. I’ll be waiting….

  13. Lorenzo Guest

    AA oramai è al risparmio su tutto, se ne fregano dei problemi dei passeggeri e sono diventati arroganti, tutto perché anti economico. Negli Stati Uniti tutti i servizi sono diventati scadenti gli hotel oramai di qualsiasi categoria e livello sono patetici nel fornire scuse per mancati servizi...la solita lagna del covid, che non è più una emergenza, viene usata per ogni nefandezza. Poveri Stati Uniti...

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      please don't judge all of the USA based on AA, Please!

  14. Lorenzo Guest

    Ho viaggiato ieri con AA da New Orleans a Dallas, oramai sono al risparmio tutto oltre che disorganizzati ed arroganti. Non parlimsno dei servizi alberghieri in America che fanno acqua da tutte le parti..ed a qualsiasi livello...poveri Stati Uniti...

  15. CMC Guest

    Travel right now is such a disgusting mess. it's simply not worth it. Limited-everything, terrible delays, high prices for subpar services, delays/cancellations/lost bags, then things like this. As someone who used to travel extensively, with all of the mess going on, I have zero desire set foot inside an airport.

  16. Craig Guest

    Sounds mostly like AA did not want to pay nor take the time to locate hotel accommodations for the passengers

  17. TDF Guest

    Ok no hotels and they had to stay in the terminal but you are telling me there wasn’t a McDonalds around. Feed the people!

    1. Andrew Guest

      I think the nearest McDonald’s is in Wilmington, North Carolina, about 700 miles away.

  18. Maryland Guest

    When AA takes 300 humans to a place they didn't agree to visit (for whatever reason) the airline is now responsible for 300 humans. I could understand perhaps trying to keep the hostages together but caring for their needs should have been a priority. Catering, blankets and customer service agents etc. Hope the captain had a comfy night's rest

  19. Stuart Guest

    Given that with 300 passengers you are met with a mess in spreading them around to multiple hotels this is a nightmare in logistics. As well, I think Tim Dunn's idea of ferrying in aircraft is also messy. By the time you get them to, say, Charlotte, you are still needing to find hotels for them at 4AM and dealing with baggage messes, rebookings, etc. There is just no easy solution.

    However!

    As to the...

    Given that with 300 passengers you are met with a mess in spreading them around to multiple hotels this is a nightmare in logistics. As well, I think Tim Dunn's idea of ferrying in aircraft is also messy. By the time you get them to, say, Charlotte, you are still needing to find hotels for them at 4AM and dealing with baggage messes, rebookings, etc. There is just no easy solution.

    However!

    As to the flight crews that just left the airport and went to the hotel? Pretty telling as to AA. To me, if you are Captain of an aircraft that just dumped 300 people into a terminal in a foreign country with no entry ability at hand....and with no communication, food, or help, then you need to step up and BE a Captain. Do what you can, reassure, calm people and use your position to get local authorities to bring in food, anything, even pizza. But no, the crew was probably laughing and chatting on the van as they went to their hotel oblivious to it all. This is where AA completely screwed up, from the flight crew to operations. Get them food, have the crews there to help and get people situated. And don't just abandon them. Completely egregious.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      If AA cannot handle processing 300 unplanned passengers in a hub where they operate hundreds of flights per day that is 2 hours from BDA, then they shouldn't be in business.
      As for the crew, the issue is that AA did not have a ground handling agent that could step in and care for the passengers; the crew is not necessarily supposed to take care of the passengers but they certainly could have.
      ...

      If AA cannot handle processing 300 unplanned passengers in a hub where they operate hundreds of flights per day that is 2 hours from BDA, then they shouldn't be in business.
      As for the crew, the issue is that AA did not have a ground handling agent that could step in and care for the passengers; the crew is not necessarily supposed to take care of the passengers but they certainly could have.
      AA considered it acceptable to divert to an island where they should have known before they made the decision that there were health regulations that would have caused problems. While from a safety standpoint, you get a plane on the ground first, you can't expect passengers to spend twice as long at a diversion point as the original planned flight and manage to offer as little as AA did.

      Other airlines and BDA deal with diversions much better. AA deserves the scorn and BDA has a right to ensure its name is not trashed by AA which does not want to accept responsibility for its mistakes and decisions.

    2. Donato Guest

      i remember a significantly delayed SQ flight landing in FRA. To top things off we did not deplane at a gate but it was bus deplaning. I especially watched the crew rush to their van but someone, Captain or station manager demanded crew not board till passenger buses were moving.

  20. Andrew Guest

    Given that it's pretty much peak tourist season in Bermuda and the biggest hotel on the island (the Fairmont Southampton Princess) is closed for renovations I don't think there were 300 (or even 100) open hotel rooms on the island. I'm not sure that just setting the passengers free to go wander the streets around the airport (which isn't near anything) would have been much better.

    1. JAY Guest

      Andrew
      That misses the point. American has not stated that it even bothered to look for rooms. Also, for 300 passengers, not everyone is getting a separate room. There are also AirBnB and VRBO rooms available that the BTA ( Bermuda Tourism Authority) and the government would have worked with American to accommodate the passengers. This avenue was not explored. I am also sure that passengers would not have been allowed to leave without...

      Andrew
      That misses the point. American has not stated that it even bothered to look for rooms. Also, for 300 passengers, not everyone is getting a separate room. There are also AirBnB and VRBO rooms available that the BTA ( Bermuda Tourism Authority) and the government would have worked with American to accommodate the passengers. This avenue was not explored. I am also sure that passengers would not have been allowed to leave without a confirmed reservation. Something that the local AA representatives would have had to be involved in to guarantee payment to the hotels/guest houses/AirBnB’s. The St. Regis has just recently opened. This was a matter of American Airlines pocket book.

      This isn’t the first time a 777 has diverted or had a mechanical this year. Ask British Airways, who cancelled a 777 flight not to long ago due to the pilot breaking his toe. This was just poorly handled by AA.

  21. flyinryan Guest

    The diversion was caused by the presence of smoke in the cockpit and a smoke detection in the electronics bay.
    https://avherald.com/h?article=4fd9199c&opt=0

    So, no, the crew doesn't need to wait for the #1 engine to fall off. Better to sit around in a terminal waiting for a replacement aircraft than to swim around the Atlantic.

  22. Potenciano espinosa Guest

    American airlines sucks

  23. stogieguy7 Diamond

    AA mailed it in here, then tried to blame the colony's COVID protocols for it. And, there are a lot of hotels on Bermuda - just not a ton of big ones, so pax would have to be spread around and that would take time and effort to do. Imprisoning them in a terminal is a lot easier and cheaper, so that's what AA did.

    1. Voice of Reason Guest

      Sounds like AA made a good decision at the time it was made, and not that of a Monday morning quarterback

    2. JAY Guest

      Well said. One of the more sane comments. AA trying to absolve themselves of blame. This was totally avoidable. Even if they had contacted the local catering company for early soup and sandwiches. The PR damage could have been limited.

    3. RMK Guest

      And what if those hotels do not want to take AA vouchers? Its not like the carrier has $50,000 in cash on hand at the terminal to give to people to pay for hotels. If the Pink Sand Hotel will not accept an AA Voucher thats their right, now what is AA supposed to do?

  24. George Romey Guest

    As usual AA took the cheap way out. Why couldn't AA have flown a couple 737s from MIA and brought the paxs back to MIA?

    1. Eric Guest

      Where are they going to take those couple of 737 from? The imagination of some people really. .. well. Sigh.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      AA operates around 900 mainline aircraft. They have 4 hubs on the east coast - MIA, CLT, DCA, and NYC all with crew bases.

      If AA can't figure out how to find a plane and crew and get it to BDA rather than expect the passengers to wait all day for a 777-300ER, then perhaps you need to have been put in those passengers' shoes to realize how badly they handled it.

      If AA can't...

      AA operates around 900 mainline aircraft. They have 4 hubs on the east coast - MIA, CLT, DCA, and NYC all with crew bases.

      If AA can't figure out how to find a plane and crew and get it to BDA rather than expect the passengers to wait all day for a 777-300ER, then perhaps you need to have been put in those passengers' shoes to realize how badly they handled it.

      If AA can't find extra crew and a plane (or two), then they should cancel a scheduled flight in a hub where there are many more options for those passengers.

      As much as some will try endlessly to defend what happened, it is simply not acceptable for an airline to divert to a location where the passengers cannot leave the airport or be provided basic services - and sleep within a 24 hour period is basic. Leaving the passengers there until AA can figure out how to get the same aircraft type and another crew to pick up the passengers much later is simply not the way passengers expect to be treated.

      AA deserves to be roasted for their lack of creativity in resolving this situation.

    3. Guest Guest

      Where should they have diverted to? There was smoke in the cockpit you idiot. Do you realize where smoke comes from? That plane could have went down while they flew to an acceptable airport.

    4. Donato Guest

      I often track aircraft for a few days and believe me, most aircraft spend 6+ hours sleeping at night. There are few departures in the USA between 1 AM and 6 AM. There are also a limited number of redeyes.

  25. Tim Dunn Diamond

    VFTW has a lot of comments on the story but AA could have sent a recovery airplane to BDA to bring the passengers back to the US within hours of learning that they couldn't enter BDA - which later turned out not to be the case. AA took the choice to offer nothing except waiting for the same aircraft type far later in a terminal with minimal food.
    AA has a long history of...

    VFTW has a lot of comments on the story but AA could have sent a recovery airplane to BDA to bring the passengers back to the US within hours of learning that they couldn't enter BDA - which later turned out not to be the case. AA took the choice to offer nothing except waiting for the same aircraft type far later in a terminal with minimal food.
    AA has a long history of not handling diversions well. Few people make their travel decisions based on the rare possibility of a diversion but stories like this highlight there are differences in how airlines handle diversions.

  26. Sean M. Diamond

    There is more than a little bit of schadenfreude here as "first world travelers" are discovering the problems that "third world travelers" have faced as a matter of routine for years.

    Flight diversion? Misconnection? Too bad - go straight to jail, do not pass go and do not collect $200.

    1. Stuart Guest

      @Sean M. While I normally love your comments I find this one to be a bit rough. I realize that you are in the industry in Africa, which comes with many challenges, but that is not the fault of a system we built here that is, as you call it, "first world." Nor does it negate the need for us to be better. I am empathetic and agree that many from countries in Africa are...

      @Sean M. While I normally love your comments I find this one to be a bit rough. I realize that you are in the industry in Africa, which comes with many challenges, but that is not the fault of a system we built here that is, as you call it, "first world." Nor does it negate the need for us to be better. I am empathetic and agree that many from countries in Africa are treated horribly in wealthier countries in regards to delays, misconnects etc. But there is a bit of snarkiness on your part which smells of, "first world residents deserve this" as a result. The passengers on this flight did not deserve this treatment. Nor do those traveling from countries which are often not allowed entry without rigorous visa requirements. Airlines and Governments need to be better, have better plans for these moments, and make exceptions. But let's not blame the victims and say, "First world...they deserve it."

    2. Sean M. Diamond

      @Stuart - No, that is the exact opposite of my point here. Snarky maybe, but the message I am trying to convey is that maybe it will take situations like this to open the eyes of the "first world" to the need of having better contingency plans in place not just for technical diversions, but also passenger welfare. I have had to deal with authorities in multiple "first world" countries over the years who were...

      @Stuart - No, that is the exact opposite of my point here. Snarky maybe, but the message I am trying to convey is that maybe it will take situations like this to open the eyes of the "first world" to the need of having better contingency plans in place not just for technical diversions, but also passenger welfare. I have had to deal with authorities in multiple "first world" countries over the years who were perfectly happy to let "third world" passengers sit for hours in conditions far worse than those pictured at Bermuda airport, so this is somewhat personal for me as well. It sometimes takes publicity like this and the Tokyo incident from earlier this week to shame them into action.

      Additionally, one of my professional areas of specialisation is IROPS preparation and recovery, so this is something I have advocated for years to my employers and clients. The best time to have your plan in place for IROPS recovery is before it happens. Failure to plan is planning to fail.

    3. Ken Guest

      Thanks Sean! as someone from Nigeria who loves traveling and has had to deal with visa issue and IROPS, and was "deported" once from Frankfurt through no fault of mine, I do hope the relevant authorities wake up

  27. Bill Guest

    Too bad they couldn’t divert to PHL. I wonder what the issue was…lost an engine? If it was something simple like a backup instrument that was faulty or a burned-out light then shame on them. If the wing was about to fall off then kudos to the crew for keeping it in the air. I guess we’ll never know.

    1. surfer Guest

      agree. Absolute bonehead move by the pilots to divert to Bermuda unless the engine ripped off.

    2. Donato Guest

      Of course I have the advantage of later information. The diversion was a smoke issue. I still remember the Swissair flight that dawdled with poor decision making which caused the death of all souls on board.

    3. David Guest

      @Surfer and @Bill:
      If you read the article closely, the flight crew experienced smoke in the cockpit along with smoke detected in one of the electrical/equipment bays beneath the cockpit. As a former B777 pilot here, I can safely say that this is one of a *very* short list of perils that pilots dread. Where there is smoke, there is typically fire. And having to fight a fire over the middle of the ocean...

      @Surfer and @Bill:
      If you read the article closely, the flight crew experienced smoke in the cockpit along with smoke detected in one of the electrical/equipment bays beneath the cockpit. As a former B777 pilot here, I can safely say that this is one of a *very* short list of perils that pilots dread. Where there is smoke, there is typically fire. And having to fight a fire over the middle of the ocean at night is about as harrowing as it gets. We train for just these scenarios about aiming the aircraft at the nearest suitable runway. And that runway may not have much more than crash/fire/rescue services—but that, more than anything else, is what this aircraft—and every one of the souls on board—needed. I give kudos to the flight crew for getting the aircraft safely on the ground. I give AA demerits for not immediately opening up their wallets to provide fresh food, blankets and pillows to everyone stuck in the terminal for the next 23 hours.

    4. fmk Guest

      Smoke in the cockpit. Smoke in avionics bay. Go look at the story for Swissair 111 and get back to me. fucking idiot!

  28. LEo Diamond

    Do all UK airports get curfews? If only LHR got curfews, they could easily dump the passengers in STN/LGW/FAB

  29. Mak Guest

    AA dropped the ball in a horrible way here, that's obvious. But Bermuda deserves quite a lot of criticism too for having such a cruel and pointless immigration policy that allows human beings to be treated like this for no reason. AA's failure to do the right thing no way foreclosed Bermuda's ability to do the right thing and treat these people as human beings rather than as trash lining the floor of their airport....

    AA dropped the ball in a horrible way here, that's obvious. But Bermuda deserves quite a lot of criticism too for having such a cruel and pointless immigration policy that allows human beings to be treated like this for no reason. AA's failure to do the right thing no way foreclosed Bermuda's ability to do the right thing and treat these people as human beings rather than as trash lining the floor of their airport. There are simply no excuses for this.

    And somebody mentioned Japan. Japan will in fact allow passengers who misconnect at Haneda to leave the airport for up to 24 hours, despite their absurd Covid policies.

    1. JAY Guest

      Bro, gather the facts before you speak. As stated by the Bermuda Government, the passengers would have been allowed to enter with the permission from American Airlines. AA would have had to foot the bill for transportation, hotel, food etc. They decided not to. Who knows what their thinking was. There is nothing cruel about taking a rapid antigen test to enter the any country. A policy many still have in place. Sounds like you're...

      Bro, gather the facts before you speak. As stated by the Bermuda Government, the passengers would have been allowed to enter with the permission from American Airlines. AA would have had to foot the bill for transportation, hotel, food etc. They decided not to. Who knows what their thinking was. There is nothing cruel about taking a rapid antigen test to enter the any country. A policy many still have in place. Sounds like you're looking to create drama were none exists. American had options here and decided to have the passengers wait until a replacement aircraft was sourced. One option was to cater the passengers from the local airport catering facility who would have been delighted to accommodate with even the basics of soup and sandwiches. Did AA avail themselves of this option? Nope! Read Gary Leff's updated post about the situation before you assign blame MAK. This comes down to American Airlines saving money. Pure and simple.

    2. Ritson Guest

      How about read the article again (or for the first time considering your comment). If AMERICAN AIRLINES had chosen to place the passengers in hotels, BERMUDA would have given the passengers RAPID ANTIGEN TESTS and let them leave the airport. Reading is essential. Or do you just have a problem with Bermuda?

    3. rmk Guest

      Did YOU read the article? There were NO hotel rooms available for the 307 passengers? Its peak season! NO ROOMS AVAILABLE? Was AA supposed to hire an emergency construction crew and build a new hotel? Or, Shit a hotel out of their ass?

  30. JAY Guest

    Definitely the fault ls with AA here. As stated, those passengers would have been allowed entry with a rapid antigen test as the authorities stood by for AA to confirm. Unlike other countries like Japan who's borders are effectively closed. Such a shame as everyone in the hospitality industry would have benefited with the exception of American Airlines pocket book.

  31. George Guest

    Not as bad as this story but yesterday AA160 (ORD - ATH) was diverted back to ORD right as it was entering the Atlantic coast. I think they were on air for 9 hours

    1. rmk Guest

      So diverting back to ORD was a bad decision? ORD is a AA hub and much better equipped to handle the diversion, including back up crews and back up aircraft. Perhaps they should have gone to Gander Newfoundland and had a experience similar to the flight mentioned here.

      Its amazing the comments from idiots that know nothing about aviation and airlines. Its not JUST about your flight, They have to make decision thats best for...

      So diverting back to ORD was a bad decision? ORD is a AA hub and much better equipped to handle the diversion, including back up crews and back up aircraft. Perhaps they should have gone to Gander Newfoundland and had a experience similar to the flight mentioned here.

      Its amazing the comments from idiots that know nothing about aviation and airlines. Its not JUST about your flight, They have to make decision thats best for the airline as a whole, not just your sorry ass.

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flyinryan Guest

The diversion was caused by the presence of smoke in the cockpit and a smoke detection in the electronics bay. https://avherald.com/h?article=4fd9199c&opt=0 So, no, the crew doesn't need to wait for the #1 engine to fall off. Better to sit around in a terminal waiting for a replacement aircraft than to swim around the Atlantic.

4
Sean M. Diamond

@Stuart - No, that is the exact opposite of my point here. Snarky maybe, but the message I am trying to convey is that maybe it will take situations like this to open the eyes of the "first world" to the need of having better contingency plans in place not just for technical diversions, but also passenger welfare. I have had to deal with authorities in multiple "first world" countries over the years who were perfectly happy to let "third world" passengers sit for hours in conditions far worse than those pictured at Bermuda airport, so this is somewhat personal for me as well. It sometimes takes publicity like this and the Tokyo incident from earlier this week to shame them into action. Additionally, one of my professional areas of specialisation is IROPS preparation and recovery, so this is something I have advocated for years to my employers and clients. The best time to have your plan in place for IROPS recovery is before it happens. Failure to plan is planning to fail.

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Stuart Guest

@Sean M. While I normally love your comments I find this one to be a bit rough. I realize that you are in the industry in Africa, which comes with many challenges, but that is not the fault of a system we built here that is, as you call it, "first world." Nor does it negate the need for us to be better. I am empathetic and agree that many from countries in Africa are treated horribly in wealthier countries in regards to delays, misconnects etc. But there is a bit of snarkiness on your part which smells of, "first world residents deserve this" as a result. The passengers on this flight did not deserve this treatment. Nor do those traveling from countries which are often not allowed entry without rigorous visa requirements. Airlines and Governments need to be better, have better plans for these moments, and make exceptions. But let's not blame the victims and say, "First world...they deserve it."

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