An American 787’s Fascinating Transpacific Diversion

A Tokyo-bound American Airways flight needed to divert on account of an onboard medical emergency. Nevertheless, the airport the airline determined to divert to may shock some individuals.

American’s Los Angeles to Tokyo flight diverts to Seattle

On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, American Airways flight AA169 was scheduled to fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo Haneda (HND). The flight was speculated to depart at 11:56PM and arrive at 5:05AM two days later. It was operated by a roughly two-year-old Boeing 787-8 with the license plate N870AX.

The flight departed kind of on time, and took off from LAX at 12:15AM native time. The 787 initially flew up the California coast, after which flew a bit extra off the coast, over the Pacific Ocean. Round 4hr40min after departure, after having simply handed Kodiak, Alaska, a passenger onboard had a medical emergency.

The crew made the choice to divert. Nevertheless, the emergency presumably wasn’t life threatening, because the flight didn’t divert to Anchorage, which was solely 250 miles away. As an alternative the Boeing 787 returned to the decrease 48, and flew to Seattle. From there it took just below three hours for the airplane to land in Seattle.

An American Boeing’s 787 diversion to Seattle

Ultimately, passengers had a 7.5+ hour flight from Los Angeles to Seattle, touchdown there shortly earlier than 8AM.

Individuals usually marvel why flights don’t divert to the closest airport in conditions like this. When an emergency isn’t life threatening, diversion selections usually contemplate logistics and never simply the closest airport. I assume that American’s operations division determined the airline could be higher geared up to have customer support representatives accessible, discover lodging for passengers, discover a new crew, and many others., at an airport like Seattle reasonably than Anchorage.

I’ll say, I do marvel what sort of a medical emergency can wait for 3 hours, however can’t watch for seven hours (roughly the space remaining to Tokyo). For that matter, it appears considerably dangerous to return to the decrease 48 and fly previous Canada. If the emergency turned extra critical and a diversion to Canada was wanted, the immigration logistics would have grow to be way more difficult.

The Boeing 787 diverted whereas close to Anchorage

The flight will get to Tokyo 24 hours late

American now had a planeload filled with Tokyo-bound passengers, and a crew that had timed out. Whereas American was planning on rising in Seattle, the airline doesn’t have a crew base there, so discovering a substitute crew would take some effort.

Moreover, whereas Haneda Airport doesn’t formally have a curfew, in apply the airport has just about no flights between 12AM and 4:30AM, so I think about that was a consideration when it comes to staffing. Moreover, with many passengers presumably connecting past Tokyo, it made sense to nonetheless arrive at a time that’s good for connections, in order that as few individuals as attainable obtained caught.

Ultimately, the choice was made to reschedule the Seattle to Tokyo Haneda flight for early the next morning. As talked about above, passengers arrived in Seattle shortly earlier than 8AM, and ended up taking off shortly earlier than 2AM the next morning. The flight is now enroute to Tokyo Haneda, and may land shortly earlier than 5AM, 24 hours delayed.

The Boeing 787 is now enroute to Tokyo Haneda

Humorous sufficient the November 8 and November 9 AA169 companies are presently scheduled to land in Tokyo at precisely the identical time.

AA169 November 8 flight standing
AA169 November 9 flight standing

Backside line

Passengers on Tuesday’s late night time American Airways flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo had been in for fairly an journey. An onboard medical emergency over Alaska precipitated the flight to divert to Seattle, and the airplane was within the air for round 7.5 hours.

Sadly as soon as in Seattle the crew timed out (as you’d anticipate), so passengers had been accommodated in resorts, and ended up departing round 2AM the next morning. The flight will get to Tokyo virtually precisely 24 hours delayed, concurrently the subsequent day’s Los Angeles to Tokyo flight.

What do you make of this American Airways diversion?

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