LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — An Allegiant flight headed from Las Vegas to Stockton was diverted to Los Angeles International Airport earlier this week, but it was not because of an unruly passenger.
What was expected to be a brief one-hour Monday night flight, turned into a 17-hour ordeal for the passengers on Allegiant Airlines Flight 161 who did not end up getting to their destination until 2 p.m. Tuesday.READ MORE: Authorities Seeking Suspect in Culver City Robbery
“It was horrible,” Jade Watts, a passenger, said.
After taking off from Vegas, the pilot told the passengers that he could not get in touch with anyone on the ground at the control tower in Stockton, forcing the flight to head back toward Vegas. But it wasn’t going to be that simple.
“He comes back on again and says, ‘There’s a thunderstorm in Vegas, and there’s zero visibility,'” Watts said.
At this point, the passenger said the crew was concerned about fuel and decided to make a landing at the closest airport — LAX. However, when the plane finally landed, the passengers could not just get off the plane.READ MORE: LASD Seek Help Finding Juting "Katie" Kuo from Rowland Heights
“We have to go into a holding room,” Watts said. “There’s no restroom in this holding room.”
Eventually the flight was rescheduled for Tuesday, and passengers were given $250 in airline vouchers.
“We had to find transportation,” Watts said. “We had to find our own hotel rooms. There was people sleeping in the airport.”
In a statement, Allegiant said that the Stockton control tower shut down after part of its weather system went down. The airport’s deputy director said the control tower was usually staffed from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.MORE NEWS: Suspect In Fatal Van Nuys Crash Charged With Murder and Reckless Driving
As for the travelers, had they chosen to drive from Vegas to Stockton, it would have only taken eight hours.