Does Aeroméxico really owe me nothing for this travel fiasco?

By | March 22nd, 2017

Sofia Porter-Castro contacted our advocates with an awful travel story. We’d love to be able to help her out. But unfortunately for Porter-Castro, we can’t – because her situation is the result of a weather-related delay.

It’s a painful fact of travel that every airline’s conditions of carriage allows it to disclaim any and all responsibility for any expenses passengers incur as a result of weather-related flight delays and cancellations. Aeroméxico, on which Porter-Castro experienced an 11-hour delay, is no exception. For the rest of us, it’s an important reminder that airlines are not responsible for the weather.

Porter-Castro was flying from Cancún, Mexico, to Chicago with a connection in Guadalajara, Mexico. When her flight arrived in Chicago, the pilot announced that because of a pea soup fog, visibility was so poor that the flight would have to be diverted to Nashville, Tenn.

But when the flight landed in Nashville, the airport’s customs and immigration facility was closed, and the passengers were not permitted to deplane because their flight was an international one. The passengers were stuck on board their airplane, which sat on the tarmac for over three hours. No food or beverages were provided to the passengers during this delay.

At 4 am, the flight took off – but not for Chicago. Because the crew had worked the maximum legal time allowed, it left the airplane. The flight, with a new crew, returned to Guadalajara.

Once the plane arrived in Guadalajara, the passengers were forced to stand in a long rebooking line. They were told that all flights to Chicago were booked or canceled for the next several days. Aeroméxico did not provide any assistance to the passengers with meals or hotel accommodations.

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Since Porter-Castro could not afford to miss work, she asked Aeroméxico’s agent to place her on a flight to any city in the Midwest, from which she would make her own way home. The following day, Aeroméxico booked her on a flight to Detroit, and she took a bus from Detroit to Chicago.

As Porter-Castro puts it,

While weather is not in the power of the airlines, the actions taken by the airlines to deal with the complication [are] entirely within their control. We, as the passengers, were held hostage by Aeroméxico, [which] was solely focused on returning their staff to Guadalajara. This whole experience resulted in an incredible amount of stress, loss of money, and loss of valuable time.

Porter-Castro wrote to Aeroméxico’s customer service to ask for reimbursement of the cost of her flight to Chicago which she never took and the bus trip from Detroit to Chicago. Unfortunately, she received the following reply:


After an extensive investigation our department regrets to inform not being able to process your application. Flight [Number] did in fact experience weather related setbacks circumstance which are beyond the airline’s control and therefore, reimbursement of any expense incurred by this event are [considered] inapplicable for reimbursement.

The customer service agent added that Aeroméxico had “provided flight protection” and Porter-Castro had agreed to it. (Porter-Castro’s paper trail doesn’t clarify what “flight protection” is or whether she agreed to it.) She might have written to executives of Aeroméxico using the contact information available on our website, but she asked our advocates for help in getting her expenses reimbursed.

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Aeroméxico’s terms and conditions disclaim liability for damages caused by force majeure, including inclement weather:

Passengers recognize and accept that the Carrier shall not be liable for the payment of damages caused by a default in the rendering of the services contracted through www.aeromexico.com in the event of an Act of God or Force Majeure, which include but are not limited to: … bad meteorological conditions (fog, rain, frost, snow, etc.) or similar causes beyond control or will of the contracting parties; … or similar circumstances to the above, among others, that make compliance with the rendering of the contracted services impossible.

But its Customer Service Plan, which applies to lengthy tarmac delays, indicates that

We will provide full and timely information regarding the status of a flight if there is an extreme delay after you have boarded or after the plane has landed. If safety and security conditions allow, we will provide for your essential needs such as food, drinking water, operating lavatory facilities, and access to medical treatment.

It isn’t clear why Aeroméxico’s crew and agents failed to act in accordance with this provision of the Customer Service Plan for Porter-Castro and her fellow passengers during the three hours at Nashville. But as the customer agent who responded to her letter makes clear, while the airline provided Porter-Castro with an alternate flight at her request, Aeroméxico has no obligation to reimburse her expenses.

And Porter-Castro didn’t help her case by writing a long letter to its customer service department accusing the airline of treating her and her fellow passengers as “hostages.” She also implied that she would be filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation, which she probably should do.

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Our advocates advised Porter-Castro to write a short, polite letter to Aeroméxico explaining her circumstances and suggested that she post in our forums about her case. But beyond that, unfortunately, we are saying ¡Adiós! to her case.



  • sirwired

    Okay, AeroMexico can’t make the weather in Chicago any better, can’t force the customs facility to stay open, and can’t override crew-time restrictions, but it mystifies me that they flew them from Nashville all the way back to Guadalajara; one would have thought they could have made a stopover in Atlanta and asked Delta (one of their partners) to please get the passengers home.

    Other than that, this is pretty standard for a weather-related cancellation. If there are no available seats going to Chicago out of Guadalajara, there’s not much that the airline can do about it. And she requested, and accepted, the re-route to Detroit, so I don’t see why they would refund the homebound leg or reimburse the bus trip.

    Depending on the cost of the flight/trip I would not necessarily have bothered to purchase insurance, but it probably would have covered her situation.

  • MarkKelling

    When would the immigration facility in Nashville open in the morning? They were there until 04:00, and it seems most of the immigration facilities at most airports open by 06:00 most days. Couldn’t they just wait the couple of hours? Also, where did the new crew come from? And where did the previous crew go since they left the plane? They would have to go through immigration.

    Sounds like things could have been handled much better. But what is the OP owed? They got her (almost) to her destination of Chicago (eventually) which is all you really can ask an airline to do these days. IF they did not charge her for the new flight to Detroit, then they do not owe her a refund for the whole flight.

  • finance_tony

    Going all the way back to Guadalajara is what baffled me most. Of what possible benefit could that be for Aeromexico? Obviously those passengers were all U.S.-bound. Why carry them all the way back to Mexico? What a crummy situation.

  • Michael__K

    But its Customer Service Plan, which applies to lengthy tarmac delays indicates that…

    It indicates that because US law mandates it.

    (3) For all flights, assurance that the carrier will provide adequate food and potable water no later than two hours after the aircraft leaves the gate (in the case of a departure) or touches down (in the case of an arrival) if the aircraft remains on the tarmac, unless the pilot-in-command determines that safety or security considerations preclude such service;
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/259.4

    Seems that AeroMexico did not comply with this requirement and the DOT should be notified. (Although AeroMexico did avoid the 4-hour tarmac delay deadline).

  • Michael__K

    They couldn’t wait “a couple of hours” because a tarmac delay of 4+ hours on an international flight at a US airport violates US regulations.

    The original diversion and delay may have been justified because of weather. Subsequent delays (why didn’t the plane go back to Chicago from Guadalajara?) are on the airline if the subsequent delays are not force majeure. International passengers have rights under Article 19 of the Montreal Convention to compensation for damages caused by a delay that was avoidable.

  • PsyGuy

    Weather delays suck, sometimes you pull the short straw, and mother nature just isn’t your friend that day.

  • PsyGuy

    You would think they’ed redirect somewhere with a better CPB program that could process them.

  • sirwired

    I think the food/water rule would be waived under the “security considerations” rule; I doubt the aircraft could be serviced before customs clearance was received.

    The domestic section tarmac delay rule specifically says that “a directive from an appropriate government agency” qualifies as a “security consideration.” (Yes, I know this wasn’t a domestic flight, but that side-note is just a clarification for language that is repeated verbatim in subsequent sections, including international flights and the food/water rule.)

  • sirwired

    Well, you don’t necessarily get a wide choice of diversion airports, depending on the current fuel situation, and the situation on the ground at possible airports.

  • Michael__K

    Customs clearance for what exactly? Why would you need customs clearance to bring food and water ONTO the plane? Any more than you would need customs clearance to re-fuel the plane?

  • Michael__K

    Maybe because it would have cost AeroMexico more to buy last minute tickets for their flight crews in and out of an airport they don’t usually serve.

  • Michael__K

    The diversion to Nashville was weather related. It’s not at all clear that the subsequent delays caused by re-routing to Guadalajara and by the decision to cancel the flight after reaching Guadalajara (as opposed to operating it to Chicago once the fog cleared up) were truly “unavoidable” [and that the airline can prove they were unavoidable in spite of all taking all reasonable measures.]

    If not, the passenger is entitled under the Montreal Convention to damages from the avoidable portion of the delay.

  • sirwired

    Catering the plane requires boarding it, while fueling it does not.

  • Michael__K

    I don’t follow. You don’t need to go through customs to *leave* the US. Not to mention the fact that the plane is already in the US.

    Are you suggesting that SkyChefs (etc.) employees need to go through customs after every time they service an international aircraft? I kind of doubt that, but even so, that might be an inconvenience for the employee but not a reason why delivering food & water is impossible.

  • sirwired

    You cannot board an international aircraft prior to it receiving approval from customs for it’s arrival.

  • sirwired

    Well, cancelling the flight once it got back to Mexico makes sense; that plane/crew has other passengers to carry and places to be. It’s either cancel the now VERY late flight, or put a massive delay on another flight instead.

    And good luck collecting on those Montreal Convention damages… “reasonable” is so wishy-washy as to be nearly useless, and I doubt anything less than a lawsuit would manage to successfully extract anything.

  • Michael__K

    Source? What precisely do you mean by “board?” I doubt that what SkyChefs or their competitors do qualifies.

  • Michael__K

    Cancelling the flight at Guadalajara may have been the most convenient option for the airline, but it’s unlikely that this was “unavoidable.”

    Since AeroMexico operates flights to/from ORD, they can be sued in Illinois small claims court. And AeroMexico would have to affirmatively prove that their “servants and agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the [delay] damage” if that’s their defense. I would expect them to be eager to settle.

  • sirwired

    If there’s no spares available at the time, somebody’s going to have to get delayed. If it wasn’t the ORD passengers, it’d be the passengers that plane was supposed to transport when it got back.

    Again, “reasonable” is such a wishy-washy legal standard that proving it is difficult, at best. If they even bothered to show up to the Small Claims court, saying “Your honor, if we did not return the plane and crew to Guadalajara, it’d take an entire additional day (and multiple flights and planeloads of delayed passengers) to have it operating a normal schedule.” would seem to be a pretty viable defense. After all, those other passengers have their own rights.

    And even if a Small Claims case was won, collecting would be even more difficult.

  • sirwired

    You can refuel without “entering” the country (19 CFR 122.42), but that regulation just allows refueling, and makes no mention of catering, or otherwise loading aircraft stores.

    “Entering” requires CBP clearance, and CBP wasn’t open yet.

    And the regulations on departure require CBP clearance if “merchandise” is loaded on a plane. Which would delay the flight even further, even if they could have loaded the supplies without clearance..

  • AAGK

    Why on earth didn’t she fly nonstop? This is her own fault.

  • Michael__K

    I don’t see where the regulations you cite require what you claim. In fact they even allow for deplaning to “a separate place.”

    The aircraft commander or other person in charge shall keep all passengers and crewmembers in a separate place at the landing area until Customs officers arrive. Passengers and crewmembers may be removed if necessary for safety, or for the purpose of contacting Customs.https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/19/122.35

  • AAGK

    It is an international kidnapping and I am disgusted by Aeromexico. There was another story here about horrific Aero behavior so that is an airline to avoid.

  • Rebecca

    I thought the same. Then it occurred to me that possibly this is regulation related? I assume to fly into a US airport from another country, there’s all sorts of rules. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t all the cargo have to be declared? Possibly since the plane came from Mexico, stopped somewhere it couldn’t be checked again before arriving at a new US airport, they weren’t permitted to land at a US airport.

    If you take it at face value – pretend it’s just any airplane and not a commercial flight with passengers. Plane comes in from Mexico (presumably US agents signed off on cargo going to Chicago), lands at Nashville, no one at Nashville to check cargo, plane must now return to original airport since it isn’t permitted to land at a US airport as no one checked cargo at unscheduled stop. I can definitely see a terrorism reason to have this regulation. If you take out the commercial passengers Part, it makes sense.

  • Jenny Zopa

    So are we to assume that AeroMexico’s pilots are not certified to land or operate their airplanes when conditions warrant Instrument Flight Rules? Clearly they diverted the aircraft from Chicago to Nashville due to weather, with the stated reason of “pea soup fog.” All major airports in the USA are equipped with Instrument Landing Systems which allow aircraft to land and take off in low visibility situations. Why AeroMexico had to divert seems to me to be a major safety issue. Are AeroMexico pilots less qualified than pilots at other major airlines? This story would seem to indicate, yes.

  • Rebecca

    I am shuddering thinking about taking a bus from Detroit to Chicago. No amount of showers could wash that off.

  • Michael__K

    How can they prove they took *ALL* measures that could reasonably required when they back-tracked from Nashville to Guadalajara? That was pretty transparently done for the airline’s convenience…

  • Rebecca

    If flying to a US airport from Nashville required staff from Customs or any other federal agency, there isn’t anything else the airline could possibly do. If the staff isn’t there, the staff isn’t there. I don’t know if this is the case, but it seems like the most obvious reason to me.

  • sirwired

    I still don’t see anything about catering the aircraft.

    Yes, they should have been able to leave the aircraft if they requested it.

    The departure regulations are under a separate section. (122.63)

  • Rebecca

    Especially Chicago to Cancun. She could have flown out of MDW, which is a million times easier than ORD, on Southwest. They have like a dozen direct flights every day.

  • Michael__K

    122.63 covers scheduled operations. If you claim that applies then they shouldn’t have been able to fly to Guadalajara either….

  • Michael__K

    Why are we floating speculation and assumptions about rules no one can cite and which the airline hasn’t asserted themselves?

    And it still wouldn’t make much sense — if the passengers were the priority, and they had to fly to a non-US airport, then why would they pick Guadalajara over Monterrey (~500 miles closer to Nashville and to Chicago)?

    BTW, US airports are supposed to have contingency plans for this and according to public documents Nashville supposedly has an MNAA Sterile Area for Passengers Who Have Not Cleared United States Customs — exactly for these situations…
    https://www.flynashville.com/about/Documents/Informational/MetropolitanNashvilleAirportAuthorityEmergencyContingencyPlan.pdf

  • sirwired

    122.63 covers scheduled airlines; it doesn’t mention scheduled (or unscheduled) operations of those airlines. (Scheduled vs. Charter Operator)

    But it doesn’t make any difference; if we consider it just a “Private Aircraft” instead, they still need departure clearance, under 122.61, since they are “Carrying passengers and/or Merchandise for hire”

  • Michael__K

    So are you suggesting AeroMexico broke the law when they departed Nashville?

  • sirwired

    They flew back to Guadalajara because that’s where the aircraft came from to begin with. Flying them to Monterrey would still strand the passengers AND foul up the schedule for the aircraft and crew even more.

    And I’m not sure what the deplaning area has to do with anything… the article doesn’t say anyone asked to deplane.

  • sirwired

    No; because they only refueled, the plane never “entered” the country, so it needed no CBP clearance to depart.

  • Michael__K

    So then why couldn’t they fly north instead of south?

  • sirwired

    Fly north to do what?

  • Michael__K

    They could have flown crew to Monterrey while the plane was headed there and SAVED time in the process. Of course that option may have cost AeroMexico a few more pesos…

    DOT regulations require offering food and water within 2 hours of when the plane touches down. If you claim this could not be done on the aircraft (not that you’ve cited anything to convince me of this) then they still could have complied with the regulation by deplaning.

  • Rebecca

    Ok I looked, no speculation. It’s cabotage law. They can’t fly to another US airport. There’s no “exception” for emergency diversion. They CAN’T continue to any other US airport.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/19/122.165&ved=0ahUKEwi56Jf19OrSAhWB5yYKHS_xBJQQFggaMAA&usg=AFQjCNFPKPxflJhqGkmz7ccs_hNRzelGhQ&sig2=zRBUnvjDcG0XPwzcvcT-ug

    I don’t know Mexican law in terms of if they have to return to the airport they came from. I speak Spanish passably, but not legalese Spanish. I can’t let my eyes bleed trying to figure that out.

  • Michael__K

    I don’t think you understand what you are citing. That simply says that a foreign carrier can’t transport people for compensation between US airports. That’s not what they were doing. They were transporting people for compensation between Mexico and Chicago. They weren’t transporting any people for compensation from Nashville. That was a diversion/emergency stop.

  • Kerr

    What, you think they dump dust and soot on every passenger on that route?

  • BubbaJoe123

    Huh? What makes you think that other airlines were landing at ORD? Even with ILS, airports can be closed for visibility reasons.

  • Alan Gore

    It’s AeroMexico. If they do owe this pax any money, she won’t get it.

    Because a fresh crew was required to leave Nashville, why couldn’t it have simply gone on to Chicago?

  • sirwired

    Saved time in order to do what?

  • Michael__K

    Transport all their passengers where they are supposed to go?

  • Michael__K

    Take the passengers towards their destination as opposed to away from it?

  • sirwired

    So, fly from Nashville to some random airport farther North and strand them there instead? I’m not sure that’s a great improvement, especially for any non-English-speakers on-board. (If I fly you to a random airport in another country where you don’t speak the language and drop you off, will you be able to figure out how to get a bus to the correct city?)

  • sirwired

    So you are suggesting they should have gone from Guadalajara, diverted to Nashville, flown to Monterrey (a destination whose sole recommendation would be that it’s 500 miles closer than going back to the correct base), wait an undetermined amount of time in Monterrey (takes time to shuttle crew around and service the plane, not to mention deplane any passengers that are tired of traveling and want to get off) and then hope Chicago had re-opened and had an available slot? (If it hadn’t, then what? Stranding the passengers in Monterrey would be even worse for everybody involved than stranding them in Guadalajara.)

    And, of course, even if everything went according to plan, it’d be pretty frustrating for any passengers that wanted to give up on their trip and go home. They’d have a choice between stranding themselves in Monterrey (left to take a flight some time in the future back to Guadalajara) or staying on the plane for a futile trip to Chicago.

    Not to mention the chaos that would continue to do for the flights that plane was supposed to be flying, delaying and cancelling other passengers. I imagine the other passengers the plane was supposed to be hauling might not be big fans of this very lengthy plan while their jet flitted all over North America.

    If the plane’s going back to Mexico at all, taking everybody back to Guadalajara (instead of some random Mexican city) made the most sense.

  • Michael__K

    I don’t suggest they go even 1 mile in the wrong direction let alone 1,000+. I was just responding to the idle speculation that for some unspecified reason they weren’t *allowed* to fly from BNA to another US airport.

  • Michael__K

    Again, Nashville to Chicago is 500 miles. Nashville to Guadalajara is 1800 miles…

    Who said anything about standing anyone at a random airport? Get the passengers to their destination by the fastest civilized means possible.

  • sirwired

    If you were responding to “idle speculation that for some unspecified reason they weren’t *alllowed* to fly from BNA to another US airport”, you were responding to the wrong post, since I certainly said no such thing. (I even expressed wonder they didn’t try and work something out by dropping any passengers that wanted to off in Atlanta on the way back to Mexico, since Aero is a DL partner.)

    And flying the plane to Monterrey (vs. Guadalajara), turning it around and sending it back to Chicago still doesn’t make sense. It’s nice for subset of passengers on that one flight that want to get to Chicago, hell or high water, but is rather disruptive to everybody else that is supposed to be on that plane while it’s flying this fascinating itinerary, which is a rather larger number of people.

  • sirwired

    “North” wasn’t their destination, Chicago was. So, yeah, dropping everybody off at an airport in some different city seems pretty random to me.

  • MarkKelling

    Yes, I would be able to figure out how to get a bus to my destination in most countries of the world even though I am not fluent in the local language. It would involve a lot of pointing and maybe waving of money around, but I would be able to do this.

    Anyway, the passengers on this plane were all heading to English speaking Chicago so why would it be any different to them it they ended up in Detroit or Milwaukee or any other English speaking city in the US other than the inconvenience?

  • MarkKelling

    There are no exceptions for emergency situations to keep the passengers on the plane for safety reasons?

  • Jeff W.

    Nashville is an international airport in name, but does not have that many international flights. The regularly scheduled int’l flights are Cancun and Toronto. And some seasonal charters to other Mexican destinations

    So it is possible there were no scheduled international flights coming or leaving the airport until much later, thereby no CBP for some time.

    Just guessing.

  • AAGK

    Which is not something I remotely care about it I’m trapped on a plane returning to a Mexico.

  • Jeff W.

    Yes.

    If you have ever driven through Chicago south of the Loop and NW Indiana along I-90 or I-94, then you know.

  • sirwired

    If somebody was supposed to meet you at the airport (or you have a connecting flight out of Chicago), getting deplaned in a random American city is more than “inconvenient” if you don’t speak the language.

    Even in many American cities I’d have to ask somebody how I’m supposed to get from the Airport to the city bus terminal, even if I could blunder my way through the transaction once I got there.

  • Michael__K

    You responded to my reply to Rebecca that was premised on this speculation….

    Passengers generally buy tickets from GDL to ORD because they really need to reach ORD or connect to another flight from there. The passengers who prefer to be back in GDL to abandon their trip would be the rare exceptions and not the rule.

  • Michael__K

    Who said anything about “dropping everybody off at an airport in some different city?”

  • Michael__K

    There are, but what was the safety issue?

  • sirwired

    Why else would you suggest they fly from Nashville to “North” (not Chicago) if not to deplane the passengers?

  • sirwired

    Ah, I see about the threading business. Still not sure why you brought Monterrey into the discussion, but whatever.

    In any case, you still seem to keep ignoring that that plane has better things to do that wait indefinitely to try to get to ORD. Even if everybody on that plane really wanted to get to ORD, fouling up the schedules for all the other flights the plane is supposed to run (even more than they were already fouled) would cause far more than a single planeload of passengers to be inconvenienced.

  • Rebecca

    My understanding is that they can’t do it. I also read a Q&A on an industry site, and there simply isn’t a provision for this type of thing. Doesn’t matter if it’s an emergency or not. I’m not an aviation attorney.

  • Rebecca

    Or on 294. Yes, this.

  • Michael__K

    They can’t SELL a flight from one US city to another US city. They can divert to a US city and continue to their scheduled destination in the US. Happens all the time.

  • Michael__K

    Deplane but not “drop off.” Most likely case, feed them and wait for better conditions.

    Absolute worst case, escort them to chartered buses.

  • Michael__K

    It’s not a single planeload — there’s presumably another planeload in ORD waiting to depart too.

    And why would it be “indefinite?” When was ORD closed more than briefly because of fog? Or experiencing widespread cancellations because of fog? That would be major news and the only examples I can find were from several years ago…

  • sirwired

    If you are going to wait for ORD instead of going home, why not just wait in Nashville for CBP (and/or the skies) to open? (And if a plane going to ORD is diverted all the way to Nashville, I’d have no great confidence that Chicago was going to have a landing slot any time soon.) And, again, that plane has other things to do besides sit on the ground or flit around This Great Nation.

    If I’ve been on a plane all day from Wherever -> Guadalajara -> Nashville adding on Going to Random Northern City -> CBP processing -> Long wait for bus booking -> bus trip would not necessarily fill me with joy.

    There’s no good options here, and turning the plane around was not an inherently bad choice. (Especially for the passengers back in Mexico very much wanting to take that plane elsewhere.)

  • sirwired

    Given how delayed the flight was already, and uncertainty about when it could finally show up, I’d say it’s pretty likely the return flight had already been canceled.

    And “indefinite”, not “infinite”; as in “No idea when the fog will clear AND the FAA can assign the plane a landing slot.”

  • Michael__K

    Sure, I didn’t specify where to deplane. You previously suggested it was not possible to deplane in Nashville.

  • Michael__K

    When was the last time ORD saw that kind of fog that lasted longer than a flight back to GDL?

  • Joe Blasi

    At 70-80 MPH

  • Rebecca

    Being a former southsider (but Cubs fan), I will say this. I live in Atlanta now, and I always say the one thing I can’t get used to is that no one is in a hurry.

  • PsyGuy

    They wouldn’t have to buy tickets for the flight crew, they could just fly the jet back empty. Duty time only applies to passenger carrying craft for FA’s and pilots (flight officers) have higher limits when they are just flying an empty positioning flight.

  • PsyGuy

    They had enough fuel to go all the way back to their departure?

  • michael anthony

    Yes, Chicago often has weather delays causing diversions of flights, including many international flights. Once clear, they resume their flight to Chicago. I’ve never experienced or heard of any international flight not being allowed to continue to destination. Their duty, was to the paxs on this plane, not their schedule for the rest of the day. Had they waited a bit longer, chances are they could have made into ORD a bit later, as customs opens early.

    I’d love to know when this took place. If this winter, it’s been one of the easiest since record keeping began. Site, we’ve had some foggy mornings, but I’ve not heard that ORD had closed once because of it. They just slow down when it gets heavy, which is rare.

    Once back in Mexico, pax saud they were told that all flights for next several days were sold out or canceled. Canceled for what reason? They woukd have known that before return, thus it’s my belief the carrier made a bad situation even worse. To let them off so easily is terrible. If they can get new crew so quickly in Nashville, then they did so only to make things easier for themselves.

    As a side, I’d also write a letter of complaint to the Chicago Airport Authority/Commission. They should know when foreign carriers serving the city treat paxs this horrible.

  • sirwired

    They can, and we assume did, refuel in Nashville. (You can do that without needing to get permission from CBP.)

  • PsyGuy

    Yeah but they couldn’t have routed to DFW or somewhere that could process their passengers?

  • sirwired

    I’ve been wondering that myself; Atlanta would have been a good choice, since Delta is an AeroMexico partner.

  • DChamp56

    Being held on a plan for 3+ hours without being able to deplane would be “holding me hostage” as I see it. Sorry, nobody should be stuck on a plane that long while sitting on the tarmac.

  • cscasi

    I really cannot understand why the flight could not have continued on to Chicago from Nashville, deplaned the passengers there and then fly the pane back to Guadalajara. That would have made too much sense. I guess Aeromexico wanted the airplane back there for some other flight(s) and could care less about the passengers on that flight. Obviously, they had a crew that could have done that since they crewed the plane back to Guadalajara.
    Sad, but many times it seems that the airlines do not put the passengers’ interests and needs before their own.

  • cscasi

    Or have gone on to Chicago when the weather cleared, as all its passengers were going there.

  • Carol Molloy

    How would a nonstop flight prevented diversion due to adverse conditions at ORD? I feel that direct or non stop is not the issue. Plenty of travelers on direct flights experience difficulties, too, as likely did other nonstop flights trying to land that day at ORD. People should expect reasonable treatment regardless if their flight is direct, one stop or multiple stops.

  • Harvey-6-3.5

    They didn’t let them off because of customs, so she didn’t have that choice, as I read the article.

  • PsyGuy

    Even a better idea.

  • PsyGuy

    I just see so many better options than going back to the departure city, a previous poster said why not just go to Chicago since that is where the passengers were heading anyway.

  • sirwired

    Chicago is a congested airport at the best of times. To go there, both the weather needed to clear, and the flight be granted a landing spot, and have an International Arrivals gate available. (Not to mention it’d need a departure slot to leave.) Could have stuck the plane in Nashville even longer, after they’d already been there for hours, and kept the plane from flying the other passengers it’s supposed to be transporting, who also don’t want their flights delayed or canceled.

  • Jenny Zopa

    Without that information, nobody will ever know.

  • BubbaJoe123

    My point exactly. Why would you immediately assume that it was just Aeromexico who was being diverted, with absolutely no information to support that assumption?

  • jsn55

    I hope she does post on the Help Forum. Unless she’s burned her bridges to a crisp, there should be something she can do with AeroMexico. And we can help her do that. An 11-hour delay is not the end of the world; if you travel enough you experience much worse than this. But the airline behaved pretty badly, so they should compensate those passengers that they tortured. It would be interesting to note what class of service she was booked in and find out how the people in first class were treated during this delay.

  • jsn55

    I hope she does post on the Help Forum. Unless she’s burned her bridges to a crisp, there should be something she can do with AeroMexico. And we can help her do that. An 11-hour delay is not the end of the world; if you travel enough you experience much worse than this. But the airline behaved pretty badly, so they should compensate those passengers that they tortured. It would be interesting to note what class of service she was booked in and find out how the people in first class were treated during this delay.

  • AAGK

    I understand that completely. That is why this story is so upsetting. An American citizen in the US is forced against their will to Mexico – I don’t care if customs officers went home already. I didn’t realize the dept of Homeland security worked 9-5.

  • Kerr

    The next time I make that drive will be the first time, but I’ll be sure to file a report afterwards.

  • AAGK

    You are right. It wouldn’t have made a difference. I must have misread.

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