December 26, 2010 by staff 

US AIRWAYS FLIGHT STATUS, About 300 passengers spent most of their Christmas Eve stranded in a plane yesterday when a scheduled transatlantic flight has been repeatedly delayed and eventually canceled, while the passengers did not have details on takeoff.

The U.S. Airways flight 723 from Dublin to Philadelphia had been due to depart at 11:05 and boarded at approximately 1 – but passengers were left perplexed by the plane never made off with the departure apparently constantly delayed.

The 300-or-so passengers on board – including several young children – were not informed of the cause of their delay, and were kept on board, without food until the flight was finally canceled at 20 hours, when passengers were finally allowed to disembark the Boeing 767.

U.S. Airways said that the delay on the flight was due to a lack of deicing fluid from the ground handler in the airline, which forced the flight to be continually delayed until it is purely and simply canceled.

A separate U.S. Airways flight on the route, which should leave at 14 hours, eventually took off at 4:17 ET landed at Philadelphia International five hours late.

Update, 24:13: Reader Stephen McG, who was on the plane, writing (via our comments section)?

We were told around 2:30-15:00 we expected to defrost a 3rd party company (ServisAir) who was out of the U.S. Airways order. Finally, the defroster shown. Around 16 hours we were told the flight was canceled as the runway / airport had been closed (due to a small plane running on the main track, I think)

About 30 minutes later we were told that we made an exception and would in fact be the takeoff. The crew gave us sandwiches – he had lunch on board.

Around 5:15 p.m. we were told that the flight was canceled because the crew had exceeded the number of hours (or would include flight time) they are legally authorized to work by the FAA (14 -16 hours?)

Then – and this was most angry passengers – it took almost three hours to get the door open. We sat at the door, not on the tarmac. The pilot called the Gardai for the ADF and the airport police to find someone to open the door. 3 hours to open the door 418 in Q2 – where there is almost more staff than passengers! [...]

It is worth noting that this was the second attempt by many of the passengers out. Some had spent 5 hours on a plane on the tarmac Thursday. In addition, a replacement flight for passengers were set at 2:30 p.m. ET took off and travels to Philadelphia on Friday, finally. They chose to take the flight originally scheduled at 11.05.

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