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What’s worse than one overnight flight delay? Two. That’s the living nightmare more than 200 British Airways passengers heading to London Gatwick (LGW) endured when they were stranded in Orlando (MCO) and New York City (JFK) for almost three days.

The series of unfortunate events started on Thursday, Nov. 1, when BA Flight 2036 (which was flying from Orlando to Gatwick) was canceled after experiencing mechanical difficulties. Passengers were already aboard the aircraft for several hours when the decision to nix the flight entirely was made. While everyone was put in close-by hotels for the evening, the road ahead was long —  as the airliner handed out a letter to passengers explaining that the technical defect has caused a 27-hour delay.

Passengers returned to MCO Friday night with the intentions of flying back on the original plane. However, they were greeted with another delay when weather caused a diversion for the plane carrying the spare parts and engineer sent to fix Flight 2036. Eventually, the aircraft departed for LGW after midnight, Saturday morning.

The bliss didn’t last. About 30 minutes into the flight, the captain announced “the fault had re-occurred” and the plane would be turning around. Alas, the aircraft didn’t make it too far– by 3:30 am, the plane’s passengers and crew were greeted with a fleet of fire trucks (as a safety precaution) at JFK.

Upon arrival, passengers were sent to BA’s Terminal 7, and the TSA questioned them on why the plane had been sent there. “It soon became apparent that no-one was expecting 400 people and their luggage to turn up at check-in,” said passenger Nick Harrison to The Independent. BA insisted that some passengers had obtained hotel rooms or been placed in the Concorde Lounge for the rest of the night, however, those who were aboard the flight claim differently on social media.

Eventually, the flight departed from New York to Gatwick for good on Saturday evening, 77-hours behind schedule. How’s that for a travel horror story?

Featured image by Stuart Bailey / British Airways.

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