American Airlines Flight Nearly Lands at Wrong Florida Airport

Sep 1, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

An American Airlines crew nearly landed (mistakenly) at the wrong South Florida airport on Thursday. The crew of the A320 was nearing its final approach at Page Field (FMY) before performing a go around and landing at the correct airport, Fort Myers (RSW) — about 8 miles away.

According to the Fort Myers News-Press, American Airlines Flight 862, which was carry 137 passengers and five crew, was traveling from Philadelphia (PHL) to Fort Myers (RSW) on August 30. The A320 — registration N123UW — was reportedly cleared for a visual approach to RSW, reported the airport in sight and was handed off to the airport’s air traffic control tower.

However, instead of lining up to land at its assigned runway 06 at RSW, the A320 lined up to land on runway 05 at nearby Page Field. At 1:50pm ET, the A320 descended as low as 875 feet, according to flight-tracking website FlightRadar24, before being instructed by ATC to perform a go around. The aircraft successfully landed at its assigned RSW runway 06 about six minutes after the initial go around.

According to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration, when the mistaken approach became known, “air traffic controllers quickly directed the flight back on course to Southwest Florida International.

“The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into the operation,” said FAA spokesperson Kathleen Bergen.

“We are aware of the issue involving American Airlines flight 862 on Thursday, Aug. 30,” an American Airlines spokesperson told TPG. “We are conducting an investigation in coordination with the FAA and NTSB.”

There aren’t exact figures for how often mistake landings or approaches happen, however, Bergen alluded to the fact that they’re not all that common.

“While we don’t have numbers available on this, it’s unusual,” Bergen said.

In March, a NextJet flight that was scheduled to land at Gothenburg (GOT) instead went hundreds of miles off course to the northern Swedish city of Lulea (LLA). NextJet labeled the incident a “huge miss in communications.” In June 2017, a US federal investigation blamed Delta pilots for landing at Ellsworth Air Force Base (RCA) instead of its intended destination of Rapid City (RAP).

Featured image by Robert Alexander / Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.