'The Chinese Government Isn’t Letting Us Off This Plane': Inside The 33-Hour Flight From Hell

A Cathay Pacific 777 (Photo: WikiCommons)

All the passengers on board a Cathay Pacific flight from New York were this week on their plane for an agonising total of 33 hours after bad weather prevented the Boeing 777 landing at Hong Kong and they needed to divert to mainland China.

The plane circled Hong Kong for an hour, hoping the stormy conditions — with winds speeds beyond what the plane could handle — would abate. When they did not, the pilot decided to land at a small regional airport 60km away in Zhuhai.

But once on the ground, Chinese authorities would not let anyone off the plane due to customs concerns. A mandatory rest period for crew was soon reached, and while the airline offered to fly in a fresh jet and crew, this request was also denied, as it would have meant walking the passengers across the tarmac.

While the plane’s water supply was topped up after a few hours, passengers and crew spent 33 hours in total trapped inside the cabin, with little food or entertainment, before the jet eventually took off for the 15-minute flight back to Hong Kong.

The entire story, written by Gizmodo Australia editor Luke Hopewell who was on board, is at Lifehacker Australia.

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