A SkyWest Airlines flight crew was forced to sleep on a plane overnight when their flight was diverted, according to Insider. The July 17 Denver to Raleigh flight had to be rerouted due to severe inclement weather.
Due to the storm, light 5332, which was operating on behalf of United Airlines‘ regional brand, United Express, had to make numerous turns while it awaited permission to land in Hayden, Colorado. The small town had no available hotel accommodations
“Though we worked to make arrangements to get our customers to their destinations that evening, unfortunately the nearby area did not have hotel accommodations available under the circumstances,” SkyWest told Insider.
“We, along with our partners at United, apologized and United has reached out to customers to provide compensation for the inconvenience.”
The flight’s captain, Jessica Taylor, wrote about the incident on Facebook.
“This has been a challenging week of flying. After flying 8+ hours from Den-Rdu-Den (well Hayden after diverting) my crew and had to sleep on the airplane overnight …. Yes that’s right we slept on the floor of the airplane in Hayden.”
Taylor said this was the first time in her more than 15 years of professional flying that she’d had to sleep on the floor of a plane. She and her crew had operated both legs of the round-trip between Denver and Raleigh, which included a layover in Raleigh.
The airplane used for the trip was an Embraer E170, which was not intended to accommodate overnight sleeping. It’s first-class seats only recline six inches.
According to data from global flight tracking service Flightradar24, the flight headed to Denver the following afternoon in clearer skies, landing almost 24 hours after its departure in Raleigh.
“It still leaves me speechless how freaking beautiful this world is from 36,000 ft. Always find thankfulness,” wrote Taylor.