Airline passengers stranded in Waco end up traveling to Dallas by bus

(Photo by Rhyan Henson)
(Photo by Rhyan Henson)(KWTX)
Published: Jul. 24, 2017 at 7:48 AM CDT
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About 100 passengers aboard a Sun Country Airlines flight from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport were stranded overnight at Waco Regional Airport after the flight was diverted because of bad weather.

Passengers said the plane was expected to remain on the ground in Waco for only about 15 minutes, but the minutes stretched into almost three hours and eventually the passengers were deplaned.

Federal regulations require airlines to deplane passengers from any plane grounded for three hours or more, Sun Country Vice President of Marketing Kelsey Dodson-Smith said in an email statement late Monday afternoon.

The problem arose after the crew received the OK to continue the flight to DFW.

“Because federal regulations also require airlines to screen passengers prior to re-boarding the aircraft, we could not re-board passengers after receiving clearance to return to DFW because TSA agents were not available to screen passengers,” Dodson-Smith said.

Airport officials had food and drinks delivered to the stranded passengers before they were bused back to DFW.

The passengers eventually ended up completing the trip on buses while the crew flew the jet to DFW, but some didn’t leave until around 4 a.m. Monday.

“We sincerely apologize to our customers for any inconveniences they experienced during their travels,” Dodson-Smith said.