Another incident with sending passengers to "nowhere" took place on Sunday, February 19. Japan Airlines Flight JL331 was delayed by almost two hours due to a plane change at Tokyo's Haneda Airport.
After waiting for all 335 passengers to board the new aircraft, the crew did their best to make up for lost time. They left Tokyo around 8:18 pm for a routine 90-minute flight to Japan's sixth largest city.
But as the Airbus A350-900 approached Fukuoka Airport, it became clear to the commander that he would not have time to land giant car before the strict 10pm Curfew.
A simple calculation shows that the crew had a minimum 10-minute margin of time. But this time, either the wind was not the same, or it was necessary to fly around the thundercloud — 1 hour 42 minutes was not enough.
Airport authorities assure that they usually allow planes to land after the start of Curfew if a delay was unavoidable. However, a last-minute change of aircraft is not listed in the manual as “reason enough” to disturb the sleep of the locals.
Thus, even though the flight was only 10 minutes late, there was no other alternative but to redirect the aircraft to one of the nearby airports ready to receive it.
The pilots were able to get permission to land almost immediately in nearby Kitakyushu, but the airline couldn't arrange buses and hotels to accommodate the 350 passengers there, so the crew was ordered to turn back and head back to Tokyo.
But that's not the end of the story. By this point, the A-350 “ate” almost all the fuel, it is clearly not enough left to fly to Haneda. Therefore, at first the plane had to deviate to Osaka, where it could be refueled, and then continue the flight to Tokyo.
The flight arrived where it started from, late at night, at 2:40 — that is, approximately five and a half hours after the first departure. At this point, the passengers were finally allowed to leave the plane, they were taken to nearby hotels, and they began to rebook tickets for alternative next flights to Fukuoka.