Fort Dodge Family’s 2-Hour Flight Home Turns into 24-Hour Fiasco

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DES MOINES, Iowa —  Instead of a trip home, a Fort Dodge family took a tour of the Midwest. At one point the family ended up back where they started and then made an unexpected visit to Kansas City.

Last weekend, Jan Deal and her husband, Al, departed on their last leg home to Des Moines from Atlanta on a Delta Air Lines flight. The two had been on a vacation in Cozumel, Mexico.

Prior to arrival in Des Moines, Deal says the Delta pilot was having issues landing.

“I was bit apprehensive because of the excessive time in the air,” Jan Deal said. “We learned that Des Moines had equipment failure.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Delta Air Lines, and Des Moines International Airport says the device that assists pilots landing in dense fog was out of order, so the pilot couldn’t see and had to turn the plane back around to Atlanta. That caused the Deals and others to sleep in the airport that night.

“There were no rooms available because all the rooms were booked for the Super Bowl,” Deal said.

Much to the surprise of the Deals, they would experience the same outcome the next day flying out.

“We got over Des Moines and circled again for 45 minutes, and we were rerouted to Kansas City because of that equipment failure,” Deal said.

It took the Deals more than 14 hours to land in Des Moines.

A Des Moines pilot backs the decision not to land.

“You need to see where the concrete is. You need to be able to see where you are turning off. You wouldn’t want to get it stuck, especially in the wet mud,” pilot Stuart Rauh said.

The Deals say their vacation was worth the hassle of getting home.

The FAA says the problem has been fixed.

Delta Airlines apologized for the problems and issued the Deals vouchers for their next trip.


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