Passengers lodge in military barracks after Amsterdam to Detroit flight is forced to land in Canada

Dec 12, 2023, 7:54 AM | Updated: 2:28 pm

Passengers aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit spent the night in a military barracks in eastern Canada after the plane was forced to land due to a mechanical issue.

The crew diverted the flight Sunday afternoon to Newfoundland and Labrador, WJBK-TV first reported.

Passenger Tony Santoro of Troy in suburban Detroit told the television station that passengers were lodged in barracks during the 24-hour delay. “It honestly felt like a hotel,” he said. “It wasn’t too bad. We had soap, water, everything.”

Delta flight 135 was diverted to Goose Bay airport “out of an abundance of caution,” the airlines told The Associated Press in a statement Tuesday. “Crew duty times were impacted due to weather and runway conditions at the Goose Bay airport causing the airport to suspend operations. Delta sent additional aircraft to Goose Bay to bring customers to their final destination Monday.”

Delta worked with officials in Goose Bay to arrange for food, water and accommodations Sunday into Monday, the airlines said, adding that passengers will be compensated for the inconvenience.

Nathan Johnson, 45, said he and fellow passengers were transported to the military barracks at around 6 a.m. Monday on a school bus after spending almost 16 hours on the plane.

Like the rest of the passengers, Johnson had arrived at the barracks unprepared to spend the night without his checked bags and toiletries. Some passengers did not have coats in the cold Canada weather. Johnson said that he and his wife were forced to sleep in the clothes he had been wearing since leaving Munich hours before.

“We were shuttled back to the rooms with no understanding of what our next time was going to be as far as when we should wake up or when we should be ready,” he said. “There was no communication.”

Johnson said he looked out the window and saw buses moving at 11 a.m. Monday, so he and his wife rushed to get on the buses back to the airport where they had to go through security again with a skeleton staff unprepared to assist all the plane passengers. Their next flight did not depart until 5 p.m., with snow falling outside. Johnson’s wife had been receiving medical treatment in Germany so the two were exhausted and anxious to get back to their home in Lansing, Michigan.

“It was sort of surreal,” he said. “It clouded our entire visit.”


Dupuy is a newsgathering producer in New York. Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.

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Passengers lodge in military barracks after Amsterdam to Detroit flight is forced to land in Canada