A Utah couple had a challenging time returning from a trip to Hawaii when their flight to Salt Lake City got diverted to the Provo Airport because of the snow storm. What eventually became a 30-minute drive took hours.
Going from 75 degrees and sunshine to a Utah blizzard may be shock enough, but add this to your return flight from Hawaii:
- delay in Las Vegas,
- holding pattern above Salt Lake City, which burned jet fuel,
- flight diverted to Provo,
- refueling there, and taxiing for take-off,
- blinding snow, and no de-icing,
- taxiing back to the airport terminal,
- a cold, snowy walk at close to midnight down an outdoor staircase to the tarmac, and then to the airport structure.
It’s the story of Dedee and Richard Dart of Mapleton, who had been in Maui for roughly 10 days, celebrating his recent retirement.
“So how would you describe your night?” 2New asked.
“Oh, it was long,” Dedee replied. “The last 36 hours have been awful.”
Richard, a private pilot, said he’s never had an experience quite like it.
While flying over Salt Lake, the couple did not realize they had been in a holding pattern, until they checked the flight app.
“I looked at the actual track, and we were going around in a circle,” Richard said.
Destination Salt Lake City International became Diversion Provo.
Dedee said they were told the plane needed fuel, but the Provo Airport was closed. Somehow refueling did happened, and the plane taxied to take-off to complete the flight to Salt Lake.
“Then the blizzard just came in,” said Dedee. “We couldn’t even see out the windows.”
Then the Darts said there was an issue that sent the plane in the opposite direction.
“There’s not going to be a de-icing truck, and so we taxied back,” Dedee said.
The couple finally just drove to Salt Lake to get their car from long-term parking.
2News reached out to Southwest Airlines public affairs for comment and confirmation of the Darts’ story, but had not heard back by early Wednesday evening.
The Darts said they don’t blame the airline. In fact, they think Southwest did everything right to keep them and other passengers safe.
It was still a long night.
“The moral of the story is…” 2News asked.
“You just roll with it,” Dedee said.