NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Passengers from Uruguay trying to get home for Christmas are demanding answers following an unexpected delay at Miami International Airport, and airline officials said technical difficulties and COVID-related complications are to blame.
These passengers, who spoke with 7News in Northwest Miami-Dade on Tuesday, expressed their frustrations with Eastern Airlines after their Montevideo-bound flight took off from MIA.
“I was very excited to actually see my family and spend some time with them, and that may not happen,” said passenger Victoria Miguez.
But the aircraft didn’t get far.
Miguez said the jet circled around Miami several times.
“We stayed there doing loops,” said Miguez.
Eventually, they headed back to MIA.
“We don’t know what happened,” said passenger Edgar Cuadrado.
The pilot informed passengers that they were having technical difficulties.
Cuadrado recorded a video as they landed, showing several Miami-Dade Fire Rescue trucks meeting the plane on the tarmac.
To make matters worse, Cuadrado, said, the plane’s tires blew out.
The passenger believes they blew during landing, and that’s why rescue crews escorted passengers off.
Cuadrado said Eastern Airlines rescheduled and cancelled their flight already five times since Sunday.
To top it off, he said, all of their bags are still on the plane.
“I called today and asked, ‘When are we going to get our luggage?’ [They said], ‘I don’t know.’ ‘When are we leaving out?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘What are the possibilities? What are you working with?’ ‘I don’t know,'” he said.
Cuadrado said passengers were only given a $20-a-day voucher for food.
“They gave us $20. You can’t have $20 for three meals in a day,” he said.
7News has reached out to Eastern Airlines. A spokesperson said they’re experiencing COVID-related delays and working to return flights to their normal schedule so that passengers can reach their destinations.
As for the flat tires, the spokesperson said, “Due to staffing issues, technicians were not able to provide maintenance on the aircraft.”
Other passengers said they are hopeful to be able to fly out as early as Wednesday.
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