The diversion comes as Aer Lingus scrambles to find alternate flights for 100 of passengers by Christmas.
For passengers flying on EI106, from New York JFK to Dublin, on 23rd December, things did not go smoothly. Minutes after takeoff, the aircraft returned to JFK after a technical problem.
Aer Lingus Airbus A330
Since then, many have been awaiting rebooking details, with hopes to get to Dublin or beyond before Christmas. According to data from FlightRadar24.com, Aer Lingus flight EI106 departed New York’s JFK Airport at 21:54 local time, 44 minutes behind its scheduled time. However, things went wrong either during takeoff or minutes later, as the aircraft ascended to 5,300 feet and diverted to its origin airport just 19 minutes later, landing at 22:13 local time.
The daily flight route was being operated by 1 of Aer Lingus’ Airbus A330-300, registered EI-EAV. The aircraft joined the fleet in February 2009 and carries 317 passengers in a two-class layout (30 in business and 287 in economy). Unfortunately for the airline, this A330 was likely to be full or nearly so given its date of travel, 23rd December, less than 2 days before Christmas.
In a report, Aer Lingus attributed the diversion to a “technical problem,” with no elaboration. While its impossible to determine the exact issue, it is notable that the A330 spent little to no time dumping fuel, which is usually the procedure pilots undertake to provide the aircraft is not overweight upon landing and to prevent a hard landing.
Given the short flight time, the problem may have been serious enough to merit an immediate landing rather than spending some time in a holding pattern before touchdown.
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“Aer Lingus confirmed that flight EI106 from JFK to Dublin yesterday evening was canceled due to a technical problem with the aircraft. The safety of all passengers and crew members is the 1st priority at Aer Lingus and the cancellation had to be implemented for that reason.”
While revoked flights are not fun for anyone, they are especially painful over important holidays like Christmas. In a report on the diversion, a spokesperson for Aer Lingus apologized for the incident and informed.
“Aer Lingus teams are now working to re-accommodate all passengers with alternative flight arrangements and are endeavoring to provide all passengers depart New York by the evening of Sunday 25 December 2022. The majority of passengers have had their alternative flight arrangements confirmed to them and we are operating through the remainder to ensure everyone has certainty on re-accommodation arrangements.”
- However, things have not gone smoothly for all, with passengers taking to Twitter to voice their frustration.
Aer Lingus’ next flight from JFK
While the solution would be to move passengers to Aer Lingus’ next flight from JFK, these are likely to be packed with travelers as well.
Instead, the carrier is trying to book passengers onto other airlines and find space on its flights before Christmas evening. However, the process has taken longer than hoped, leaving passengers stuck in the airport for hours before receiving hotel and meal vouchers for the added time in New York. The lack of communication has been criticized, but Aer Lingus is expecting to contact all passengers soon.
While passengers on EI106 struggle to get off the ground again, chaos is occurring at airports across the US. Winter Storm Elliott has affected two-thirds of the country, with the East and Midwest particularly affected, revoking over 4,500 flights revoked at the time of writing.
Inevitably, many will be spending stuck on the ground this year, with little reprieve for inclement weather. However, don’t forget to read up on your rights if you find yourself on a revoked flight.
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