Reporting Anjali Hemphill
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Additional staff was brought in to help accommodate the more than 1,000 passengers that were diverted to Sacramento International Airport after the plane crash in San Francisco.
Officials say they had to bring in extra staff to accommodate all those passengers that were landing at the same time. It was a mad rush as staff scrambled to get everyone to where they needed to go.
Sixteen flights headed for San Francisco were diverted to Sacramento, five were international flights.
“You’re just sitting there with no water and can’t use the washrooms because they’re full. So it was a bit irritating,” said Karen Bower.
A couple from Canada spent over two hours sitting on the tarmac. They were not even aware of what had happened until someone on their flight was able to turn on their cell phone.
“Our carrier had no information whatsoever. Basically we were booted off the plane and with no direction whatsoever,” the man said.
“My plan was to surprise my sister for her 60th birthday. She lives in Marina, and they are now on the way to pick me up. So the surprise is gone but she’s still excited I’m here,” said Ed Ruotanen.
Some passengers were able to have family pick them up. But most domestic passengers opted to take an airline-chartered bus the rest of the way to San Francisco.
“They’ve been working incredibly hard. It’s not easy for this little airport to deal with all those planes landing here,” said Mike Finser.
International passengers had to be booked on other connecting flights last minute.
It was a ripple effect that caused major frustration, along with a dose of perspective.
“It’s an inconvenience for us but it’s a life changing event for those people in the crash and my thoughts and prayers are with them,” said Ruotanen.
Four of the five international flights that were grounded in Sacramento did not have to deplane because two runways at San Francisco International Airport were reopened.
Two Sacramento flights to San Francisco were also canceled.