Ministry On Diverted American Airlines Flight

August 29, 2022

[Updated] Following overseas media reports claiming that passengers on a diverted flight “were not allowed to leave the airport due to Bermuda’s Covid-19 requirements,” local officials said that ”Covid-19 regulations did not in any way prevent American Airlines from taking steps to better accommodate its passengers today.”

The Government said airlines must organize hotel rooms for its passengers in such situations, the team at the airport “stood ready to administer supervised antigen tests for all passengers,” however “at no time did American Airlines communicate a desire to have its passengers landed to transfer them to a hotel,” with the Government pointing out that they “note American’s crew were provided accommodation at a local hotel by the airline.”

airline airplane square aug 29 2022

Overseas Media Reports

The British press reported, “Passengers on a bank holiday flight to from Miami to London have revealed how they spent 20 hours on the floor of an airport in Bermuda after a possible mechanical issue. forced a diversion. Those who struggled to rest in the most stressful of conditions have said they were “abandoned in the middle of the Atlantic”.

“Since the incident, American Airlines has apologised for flight AA38 changing course. Around three hours after taking off from Miami International Airport on Monday (August 29), the airline said there was “a possible mechanical issue”, forcing the plane to land instead on the British island territory in the North Atlantic.

“The passengers were not allowed to leave the airport due to Bermuda’s Covid-19 requirements, and say it took almost 10 hours before anyone brought them food – while there were just eight toilets available and no showers.”

Bermuda Government Response

A Government spokesperson said, “Regarding the American Airlines flight that diverted to Bermuda early this morning, the Ministry of Health can advise the following.

“In this instance, the decision for arranging accommodations is not one to be made by the Ministry of Health. The airline must organize hotel rooms for its passengers in such situations. At no time did American Airlines communicate a desire to have its passengers landed to transfer them to a hotel, even if only for the day.

“The Port Health team at the Ministry of Health stood ready to administer supervised antigen tests for all passengers – as we have done for passengers on previous diverted flights. However, the airline did not make that decision.

“The Ministry of Health’s compliance team also stood by in case a decision was made to allow the passengers to leave the building and stretch their legs in a designated area. Again, no decision was made. We note American’s crew were provided accommodation at a local hotel by the airline.

“Bermuda’s Covid-19 regulations did not in any way prevent American Airlines from taking steps to better accommodate its passengers today,” the Ministry added.

American Airlines

American Airlines said in a statement: “American Airlines flight 38, from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR), diverted to Bermuda (BDA) this morning after a possible mechanical issue. We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we apologise for the trouble this has caused.”

According to online flight trackers, the flight is scheduled to leave this evening.

Update | Skyport Statement

A Skyport spokesperson said, “At 12:40 am this morning, American Airlines flight 38en route from Miami, Florida to London Heathrow, arrived at The LF Wade International Airport with 317 persons on board having diverted to the island due to a mechanical issue.

“The aircraft, a Boeing 777-300, landed safely and without incident. All passengers and crew deplaned the aircraft at 1:10 am and were housed in the international departures lounge of the new terminal as American Airlines officials advised that they were unable to find a sufficient number of available hotel rooms to accommodate all persons from the flight.

“The airline made light refreshments available for passengers before having meal options catered by late morning. The airport duty-free and retail shops, the bar and restaurant facility, and the Primeclass VIP Lounge with shower facilities, were all open and available to passengers during the day.

“American Airlines is sending a relief flight to pick up the passengers. The flight is expected to depart for London Heathrow at approximately 8 pm this evening.”

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Comments (34)

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  1. Micro says:

    Lack of hotel beds is the likely reason. Same happened with the United diversion a month or so ago.

    • Filippo Scevols says:

      Not true. We spent the whole day checking the availability in town and plenty of rooms were available. To save a buck AA now will spend more in claims from angry travellers
      Filippo Scevola seat 8 D

    • Giorgia says:

      There were accomodations, a simple google search could have revealed plenty of hotel options. AA was just stingy.

    • Melinda says:

      LIES, LIES, AND MORE LIES! According to Bermuda Health Department, no attempt was made by AA to find any hotel rooms. Inhumane treatment of passengers, with no consequences for the airline.

  2. Ringmaster says:

    I’d never believe anything from this Government. More likely the passengers weren’t allowed to leave because they had no TAF completed and why should they. Just another Bermuda/PLP fail for the world to see. Bye bye tourists.

    • peepoor says:

      saying what exactly i was thinking, lost 12000.00 and govt should have reached out to mhelp its called PR not duck and weave as they always do.,

  3. Filippo Scevols says:

    The hotels had a lot of available rooms. AA didnt want to spend a few dollars for us. Now AA will pay more in paying the claims
    Shame shame on AA
    Filippo Scevola

  4. puzzled says:

    So who is fibbing

  5. Unhappy AA customer says:

    Not true, a simple search on google and you would have found a wide array of accomodations. The airline was simply stingy.

  6. Phil says:

    There were hotels, a simple google search would have proved this. American Airlines was just stingy

  7. pink buoy says:

    While 100% AA’s responsibility, BTA/Skyport/Tourism department missed an opportunity to showcase the hospitality that we are known for. Even pizzas could have been ordered, ok it was 1am, but subs or pancakes for breakfast, something. Call BGA as an emergency and get packaged muffins delivered at 2am. AA have their local office here as well, shame they couldn’t display some kindness.

    • sandgrownan says:

      Hospitality we are known for? YOu’ve got to be kidding – surly taxi drivers, buses & ferries not running, trash in the streets, bums on Front Street…..

      • pink buoy says:

        Funny, as I was writing it, I started to type ‘hospitality that we used to be known for’ but I was being ever the optimist. It used to be our default, it’s so saddening it’s becoming depleted.

      • Question says:

        Not to mention there are rats everywhere, Hamilton stinks of urine and is full of aggressive bums demanding money, and we now have stabbings and shootings every few days.

    • E W says:

      Im sure Butterfield and vallis would have helped out !!

  8. Unknown800k says:

    Not without a TA form and $40 you wont.. egomeir needs chaching

  9. question says:

    do we even have 300 hotel beds anymore ??? south P elbow etc

  10. Bermy says:

    People need to stop gaslighting the situation. Lying about a lack of rooms or our covid restrictions is a stupid and a poor excuse to sell rubbish filled papers. Grotto Bay had rooms available and staff on stand by to accommodate.. i am sure AA would have put their first class and high flyers up at Tuckers Point. I heard it was US immigration that caused the airport sleepover. Anywhoo LF Wade’s floors are better than MIA’s floor at anytime. image what would have happen if the AA pilots tried a game of chicken and decided to turn back, hell i would have gladly slept on a JFK bathroom floor in that situation.

    • Tucker says:

      Lying is something Bermudians excel at…just look at the willful ignorance surrounding your chosen government.

  11. CHRIS says:

    Certainly the government of the Banana Republic would absolutely NOT do its best to cover for its stupid covid panic policies……yeah right. It’s time the US bar all nationals of Bermuda entry to the US…..just like they did to the people on that flight. Keep your foolish policies and isolate yourself from the rest of the world….just like, Japan, North Korea, China etc. We won’t miss you.

  12. BDABOY says:

    “People need to stop gaslighting the situation.”

    ” I heard it was US immigration that caused the airport sleepover. ”

    LOL, you guys are hilarious.

  13. Voice of Unreasonable says:

    There was a flight diversion in May. I don’t recall which airline, but hotels were provided to those passengers. I know we like to shake our fists at Bermuda but I’m sure the TA would have been waived in these exceptional circumstances anyway

  14. I'm just saying says:

    Another strike against Bermuda as a tourist destination because of the ridiculous Covid rules made by this ridiculous government. When is this government gonna wake up and stop acting like the CCP?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      The AA fiasco had nothing to do with “the ridiculous Covid rules” or the TAF or anything done by any Government agency.

      AA simply did not want to pay for rooms at Bermuda high season prices.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Absolutely true . And we’re being dragged into this all because AA was doing their utmost , at their passenger’s expense , to save some money.

      • Oh well says:

        Please allow the OBA pigeons to flap around complaining about everything in the park. They have to blabber about something since they can’t find enough blk candidates to field next election. Their trying so hard to make the party look diverse.

        • sandgrownan says:

          Think about what you just said. The OBA is diverse, it has members from a cross section of the community. The PLP does not.

          It’s the PLP who have a diversity problem.

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          Please keep your political invective out of my posts.

        • saud says:

          ….and the PLP does nothing for diversity…revealing that they, ands their followers, are racists.

          It’s sad that the same people who have been oppressed, are now the oppressors…it just shows that all people are the same, regardless of skin colour…we are all racists.


  15. Marine Life says:

    So, American Airlines? Think I’ll be traveling with them anytime soon? NOT! Any fool can see their true colors.
    People are numbers to them. Animals in a pen. They just ruined their reputation.
    The acting Government just took another notch downward to. No contingency plans. This is not the first time and it is not the last. So sad that we can’t LEARN from the past and see the consequences of the future! Too bad that we as leaders can’t problem solve and be prepared to assist people in a time of dire need. We seriously need a disaster on this Island to knock the senses back into people, like in past decades. How low must we as Bermudians go? These are people, not robots just laying on a concrete floor! As the generations pass, we get more tech Savy and disconnect from people. Fortunately, this is not the way of every person, but for a goodly percentage it has become. Big business and our leaders set the example. Good or Poor!
    Jet Blue Baby!

  16. Marine Life says:

    Each side playing The Blame Game…. Shows the guilt on each side. Each side has fessin up to do. Bet a lot of those travelers will not use American again or perhaps visit Bermuda again. This is how new coming airlines take over due to the greed and selfishness of the old few.
    Also, This is where the Government should have immediately stepped in. We are a tourist destination or so we have prided ourselves as one. We are losing that hospitality mentality and instead we are being brainwashed by numbers and figures all the time instead of looking at people and treating them with the utmost respect and dignity. They are Humans! Who cares about what JFK or Dulles or London does? We are Bermuda! We have become a shameful destination with pitiful roads, rat infestations, crime and murder with no limit.
    We are not the Bermuda we used to be. Bermuda was another world. The meaning to the statement has taken on the opposite meaning of what was intended.