A flight headed from Las Vegas to Baltimore was forced to make an unplanned stop in Salina.
About 140 passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight Thursday evening, flying from Las Vegas to Baltimore endured a long 24 hours after the plane had to divert to the Salina Regional Airport.
Las Vegas TV Station KSNV reports that Southwest Flight 4649 left McCarran International at 7:31 p.m. Central Time Thursday, but had to land in Salina about 9:30 p.m when an indicator said there might be a fire in one of the wheel wells.
There was no fire, but the plane, crew and passengers had to sit at the Salina Regional Airport until 2:45 a.m. when a Southwest plane was able to take the passengers to Dallas, landing about 4 a.m. ABC New reports that pizza was delivered to the passengers as they waited in Salina.
A few passengers made other travel plans after arriving in Dallas, but Southwest did fly about half of them to Baltimore-Washington International on Friday, landing just before 7 p.m. Eastern Time.
Some passengers complained on social media about how they were treated and that they had to stay on the Boeing 737 for about 5 hours before being flown to Dallas, far from their original destination.
Southwest released the following statement on Friday evening:
“The captain in command of flight 4649 operating between Las Vegas and Baltimore/Washington safely diverted the aircraft to Salina, Kan., Thursday night at approximately 9:30 p.m. CDT following an instrument indication of a possible fire in a wheel well.
“Once on the ground, crews verified no evidence of a fire and stairs were positioned at the main passenger entry. With limited facilities and no security checkpoint at the SLN airport, our crew regularly advised customers that they had an opportunity to deplane the aircraft but that those who elected to do so would not be able to re-board.
“As we worked to bring in another aircraft from Dallas to get these customers on their way, the lavatories remained open and functional and our crew served drinks and even ordered pizza delivered to the aircraft.
“One customer and her husband deplaned for medical reasons; two other customers deplaned voluntarily; all remaining 135 customers elected to remain on-board and traveled aboard a substitute aircraft back to Dallas, departing Salina approximately 2:45 a.m. CDT and arriving Dallas just before 4am CDT.
“We provided hotel accommodation and food vouchers for the unscheduled overnight stop in Dallas and operated an extra flight to BWI from Dallas early this afternoon with just more than half of the customers electing to travel. They ultimately arrived BWi just before 7 p.m. EDT. We’ll now be working individually with the customers whose travel plans were severely impacted by the unscheduled stops along the way to offer what we can in the way of apologies and our sincere thanks for their patience during their delayed arrival this holiday weekend.”