Passengers on an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, NC to New York City were driven to “mental breakdown” Sunday, when the delayed aircraft was left sitting on a runway for hours with no air conditioning or food service, according to a report.
The flight to JFK, which was supposed to leave at 1:07 p.m., wound up being held on the runway because of problems with the fuel tank — leaving passengers suffering so much some started “sobbing” while others had “panic attacks,” the Charlotte Observer reported.
“Just sat on a plane with limited AC for three hours while they were fixing the fuel tank, turns out they can’t fix it and now we’re switching planes I——-,” tweeted a reporter for the local paper, Genna Contino.
The passengers then boarded a different plane at 4:30 p.m. — but continued to wait under hot, uncomfortable conditions for another three hours.
“Entering hour 6 of sitting on a plane with no AC, no food, no drink service,” Contino tweeted. “Someone on the flight is having a mental breakdown.”
The reporter said the air conditioning was turned off to save fuel, but was then turned back on after “people started sobbing and having panic attacks.”
She also said that passengers weren’t allowed to exit the plane.
American Airlines spokesperson Andrew Trull told The Post the flight was delayed both because of a mechanical issue and because of lightning in the vicinity.
“During that time the jet bridge remained attached and the forward boarding door remained open,” he said. “We know it can be frustrating when travel doesn’t go as planned, and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”
Trull told the Charlotte Observer a snack would have been served “after a period of time” if the flight left the gate, but didn’t provide more details.
Weather reports from the day showed thunderstorms and rain in North Carolina. The flight eventually departed at 7:03 p.m., the airline said.
The harrowing delay comes during a summer chock full of airplane horror stories, as millions of fliers have been left with delays and cancellations.