USA Today

Aeromexico Passengers Held for Hours on Tarmac Without Food or Water

January 11, 2019 - 12:36 pm

(KNX 1070) -- An Aeromexico jet heading to San Francisco International Airport from Guadalajara Thursday was diverted to Oakland International Airport after fog, leaving passengers stranded on the plane for hours without water, food, or fresh air. 

The plane landed at 10:40 a.m. in Oakland, but Aeromexico chose not to deplane passengers, but instead park on the tarmac for more than four hours.

The delay sparked outrage, with two taken off the plane in handcuffs as "unruly passengers," and placed into custody by the Alameda County Sheriff's department, and another needing medical attention. 

“Everybody started sweating. There was a man, 93-years-old behind us, no water,” passenger Rosario Gonzales told CBS News San Francisco. “There is, like, at least 10 kids. They never offered water.” 

“It was hot … little kids crying. Like, older women about to pass out,” said passenger Elizabeth Cervantes.


One irate passenger threatened to open an emergency door, and activate the slide, but Aeromexico officials repeatedly warned people not to. 

Police arrived after several desperate passengers resorted to calling 911, claiming to be held against their will. 

After almost five hours, the plane was finally moved to a gate and passengers were allowed to deplane -- an option airport officials say was available, according to CBSSF. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation expanded airline passenger protections in 2017 -- including establishing a four-hour time limit on tarmac delays for international flights of U.S. and foreign carriers; providing adequate food and water after two hours; working lavatories and any making sure all necessary medical treatment is given if needed.