Chaotic day at Sea-Tac calms down after SFO reopens runways
Seattle – The Asiana plane crash in San Fransisco caused a ripple effect of cancellations,diversions and delays at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Soon after the crash 5 international flights were diverted and 4 domestic flights never took off for San Francisco causing a chaotic scene of long lines.
One Virgin America flight with hundreds on board was on the way to San Francisco when they heard about the crash mid-air.
“We were an hour into our flight and they said oh we are so sorry we have to turn around and take you back to Seattle because of a crash,” said Nikyta Palmisani.
Many quickly tuned in to watch the terrifying images on their TV’s before they even landed.
“It was completely a surreal experience of seeing this burning plane with no wings and no tail,” said Palmisani.
Outside Sea-Tac several international flights went nowhere for hours after being diverted.
One family traveling from India on their way home to California had to first check their bags through customs then brave a sea of frustrated passengers hoping to reschedule their diverted flights.
“We are at the end of the line,” said Raj Zanzi.
“I’ve seen people crying at the airport, I just have a feeling that it will get more chaotic as time progresses,” said Laureen Bethards.
On Saturdays Sea-Tac normally sees a lot of international flights, so SFO’s temporary shut down meant a complicated choreography back here.
“Now you put on top of that, additional flights that were not scheduled to be here we are running into where can we put them at a gate standpoint where can we put flights waiting for departures later in the day,” said airport spokesperson Perry Cooper.
Many stranded passengers were able to get back on track to San Francisco, while others decided to make an unexpected stop in Seattle worthwile.
“My entire flight was waiting at the gate and I said forget it I have family here so I will just adventure for the day in Seattle,” said Palmisani.
Some say the inconvenience comes second to the concern they feel for the victims of the crash.
“I just feel bad for anybody who went through that,” said Berthards.
“You feel scared, you feel bad,” said Sarah Mitchell.
“Thinking we were up in the air at the same time that happened it’s scary,” said Insiya Zanzi.
No more flights were expected to be diverted to Sea-Tac Saturday night.
Officials say check with your airline for cancellations and delays for Sunday.