Nearly 300 Air France Passengers Stranded for 3 Days in Siberia

Nov 15, 2018

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On the heels of a British Airways flight that stranded passengers not once but twice en route from Orlando to London, another group of passengers faced a similar fate this week when their Air France flight from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Shanghai Pudong International Airpot (PVG) was diverted to Irkutsk International Airport (IKT) in Russia, leaving them in limbo for three days.

Air France flight AF116, which was carrying 282 passengers on the Boeing 777, was scheduled to fly from Paris to Shanghai on Sunday when “an acrid smell and light smoke appeared on board,” the airline told AFP.

The crew decided to make an emergency landing and diverted the plane to southeast Siberia. According to The Moscow Times, passengers were put up in a hotel under the watch of police and “not allowed to leave hotel premises” due to the fact that they did not have visas to enter the country while waiting for a new Boeing 777 to arrive the following day.

But when the aircraft arrived, it too was having technical difficulties. Passengers had to wait yet again for a new aircraft that would carry them to their final destination Wednesday morning.

Passenger Corinne Lee, Head of Social Media at Louis Vuitton, was traveling on business with her team and managed to record the whole ordeal via Instagram story. Clips document the plane’s smoke alarm going off, the emergency landing in Russia, updates on the frigid temperatures (-12˚C), a few not-so-bad meals, the failed attempt at boarding the replacement plane and the icy walk across the tarmac to the final aircraft.

The incredible delay, police surveillance and brutal Siberian temperatures, surely made this one trip these passengers won’t soon forget. Luckily, no injuries were reported.

H/T: Business Insider

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