Passengers on a Spirit Airlines flight headed for Fort Lauderdale spent nearly 24 hours going coast-to-coast after they made an emergency landing in Houston early Sunday morning for a disruptive passenger.
According to passengers, the red-eye flight 310 was scheduled to leave Los Angeles at 10 p.m. Saturday evening but was already delayed more than thirty minutes when it finally took off. Passengers said they never imagined it would take over a day for them to get to Florida.
Half-way through the flight, at around 2 A.M., an 87-year-old blind male passenger reportedly had an altercation with another passenger, forcing the pilot to land the plane in Houston. The elderly man was not charged.
One of the people on board, Teresa Shaviano from Long Beach, California, said they were stuck on the plane in Houston with no food and no air conditioning for two hours. Shaviano's daughter, Michelle Carroll, said Spirit officials were not supportive and left passengers uninformed.
"[They were] very tired, very frustrated and confused, not necessarily knowing what to do," Carroll told NBC Los Angeles. "And obviously there were a lot of irate and frustrated passengers."
Airline officials considered taking the passengers to Dallas on a five-hour bus ride because Spirit does not fly from Houston to Fort Lauderdale. Passengers refused to comply and the aircraft finally made its way to Fort Lauderdale from Houston by air.
Sunday evening, Spirit Airlines issued a statement saying "We understand that this has been an inconvenience for our customers, but the safety of our customers is always the top priority. All customers are being given full refunds for this inconvenience."
The flight finally landed in Fort Lauderdale around 8 p.m. on Sunday.