True Story – a 3 day plane journey from Brasil to New York City in Dec. 2016


To spend New Year’s Eve 2017 on Time Square in NYC that was the plan…

Unfortunately this did not work out for 300 passengers on an American Airlines flight from Brazil. Instead they became part in a series of unfortunate events, and arrived in NYC with a delay of 3 days.

At the beginning everything went to plan. The flight AA974 took off from Fortaleza on time, as the National Airport Authority Infraero confirmed. But the events started to unfold soon enough. During a scheduled stopover in Rio de Janeiro the continuation of the flight was postponed until the next day in the afternoon because of technical problems.

Finally, on December 31, 2016 the Boeing 777-200 took off from Rio heading for NYC. Unfortunately, a passenger on board seemed to have serious health problems and the plane had to land in Manaus.

Well, this was it. The planned New Year’s Eve celebration on Time Square vanished into thin air, and the passengers had to greet the New Year on the plane. But this is not the end of the story….now the crew had to take its mandatory break, and the plane could only continue its journey on Monday.

The disgruntled passengers of the American Airlines flight aired their frustrations via social networks. For example “it would have been a great party on Time Square, but the airline did not even offer us a meal, and the employees were neither accommodating nor helpful”, a passenger wrote on Facebook.

Sadly, this story is not an isolated case, and things like this happen more often than you think. The crux of the story is this…to book trips via online portals or directly with airlines/hotels/etc. might look convenient at first. But if something goes wrong, then nobody is here to help.

Genuine travel bureaus do that for you. They are pros. and know how to deal with these kind of situations, and know your rights. And no, they are not necessarily more expensive….then again, to miss events you look forward to is anyway priceless…

By the way…American Airlines is a member of the Oneworld Alliance. And so is LATAM, a leading airline group in Latin America airline group. One could think that LATAM would have had somewhere a plane and crew, if asked, which could have taken over….but hey, it costs money. 

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