Entries in Flight Delay (3)


Thousands of Bees Delay Pittsburgh Flight

Stephen Repasky(PITTSBURGH) -- A Delta flight headed from Pittsburgh to New York was delayed Wednesday by thousands of bees on its wing.

A professional beekeeper was called in to remove the bees, ABC affiliate WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh reported. Master beekeeper Stephen Repasky said he was called when the bee swarm formed on the plane’s wing as it refueled. He was called to remove the bees because they’re a protected species that cannot legally be killed.

Delayed for about 20 minutes, fascinated passengers clicked cellphone pictures of Repasky at work, a Pittsburgh International Airport spokeswoman said.

Repasky said it was the fourth time he has been called to the airport this year, so there’s likely a honeybee colony nearby.

“When a colony of honeybees swarm, it’s nature’s way of dividing on a large scale,” Repasky said. “So, the old queen takes off with half the colony and they go looking for a new place to set up residence.”

Two swarms were removed in May and one in June, both from equipment but not planes, the airport spokeswoman said.

There have been two to three times as many bee rescues this year than is typical, Repasky said. He blamed the increase on the weather.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Blind Passenger Causes Emergency Landing, 12-Hour Flight Delay

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- An unruly passenger aboard a Spirit Airlines red eye flight from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale over the weekend forced the pilot to make an emergency landing in Texas, which then led to an over 12-hour layover for approximately 100 on board.

Spirit Airlines Airbus A319 from Los Angeles Xavier departed on time at 9:58 p.m. PT Saturday, with a scheduled landing at Hollywood International (FLL) at 6 a.m. Sunday.  However midway through the flight, a disruptive passenger forced the pilot to make an emergency landing at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport, where the roughly 100 passengers would remain for most of the next day, ABC News affiliate KTRK reported.

The unruly passenger, an 81-year-old man who is blind, was kicking and screaming, those on board told ABC News' Ft. Lauderdale affiliate Local 10 News.

Passengers were reportedly kept in the plane on the tarmac for several hours before being allowed into the terminal.  The airline then told the waylaid passengers that they would now be shuttled by bus five hours north to Dallas, because Spirit does not operate a flight between Houston and Ft. Lauderdale.

Passengers then became irate, yelling and screaming at airline staff.

"It was terrible.  It was unreal.  It was painful," passenger Theresa Shaviano told Local 10.

Spirit Airlines eventually decided to fly the passengers in a different plane, and the flight arrived in South Florida about 8 p.m. Sunday -- 12 full hours after the scheduled arrival time.

The airline said time constraints with the crew prevented the original plane from taking off from Houston.

"We understand that this has been an inconvenience for our customers, but the safety of our customers is always the top priority.  All customers are being given full refunds for this inconvenience," the airline said in a statement.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Flight Delays Down in 2010, Cancellations Up in December

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) - If you thought flight delays were bad in 2010, they were still better than they were in 2009, according to new figures from the Department of Transportation.

The Air Travel Consumer Report showed that 2010 was the third-best year in terms of on-time flights in the past 16 years, with 79.8 percent of flights arriving on time. The number is just slightly better than 2009's on-time rate of 79.5 percent. Long tarmac delays, however, were much lower in the last month of 2010 than the previous year. Just three flights sat on the tarmac for more than three hours in December, compared to 34 such flights in December of 2009.

But flight delays were much worse some places than others. Take the Southwest flight from Baltimore to Hartford, for example. In December, Southwest Flight 2016 from BWI to Hartford was the most delayed flight – it was late 91.7% of the time, averaging 47 minutes late.

Cancelled flights were up slightly in December from the same period a year ago due to extreme winter weather. Carriers cancelled 3.7 percent of domestic flights in December 2010 compared to 2.8 percent in December 2009.

The least likely air carrier to cancel your flight in December was Hawaiian Airlines with just a .2 percent cancellation rate. The highest rate of cancellations went to JetBlue, who canceled 8.5 percent of all domestic flights in December.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio