Qantas passengers spent a night on the floor of Los Angeles Airport after their flight to Sydney was delayed 23 hours due to an "unfortunate sequence of events".
Travellers were due to take off on flight QF108 at Wednesday midnight California time, but the departure was set back due to a technical problem with the aircraft's on-board cooling system.
A Qantas spokesman said a replacement aircraft was organised, but the initial delay was compounded as the cabin crew had exceeded maximum work hours and had to be replaced.
The Sydney Airport curfew, which restricts landing at the airport from 11pm to 6am, further extended the delay.
It's understood that staff attempted to find hotels to accommodate the passengers, but couldn't find any available lodgings in the early hours of the morning.
I'm starting to feel a bit like Tom Hanks in that movie where he's living for months in an airport terminal. Thanks #qantas!
— Tim Bednall (@tbednall) August 7, 2014
— BLUEBELLE INC (@BLUEBELLEINC) August 7, 2014
— Jillian Pancott (@ISojournI) August 7, 2014
After spending about 10 hours at the airport, the passengers are now being transferred to hotel rooms. If all goes well, their flight is scheduled to leave almost a full day late at about 10.45pm California time on Thursday.
Qantas would not say how many people were set to board the flight but the aircraft, a Boeing 747, can hold about 350 passengers.
"The Qantas team on the ground in Los Angeles have been doing all they can to make our passengers as comfortable as possible including providing food and drinks and providing some access to the lounge," the spokesman said.
"This has been an unfortunate sequence of events which has caused a lengthy delay and we thank customers for their patience and understanding."
- Sydney Morning Herald