DETROIT (FOX 2) - Several hundred Delta Air Lines passengers had a long and difficult journey from Amsterdam to Detroit over the weekend, after an emergency landing in Canada caused a 24-hour delay.
"I don’t know what day it is anymore," said Tony Santoro of Troy, one of the passengers returning home after studying abroad for four months.
The plane was diverted to Newfoundland and Labrador, a Canadian Province, on Sunday; the airline confirmed it was due to a mechanical issue on board.
"I didn’t know if we were even going to be able to get home on time or anything," Santoro said.
During the flight, the plane took "a sharp turn," another passenger said. "Pilot told us that we had to land there because there was a problem with the de-icer for one of the engines. He said essentially that if the de-icer wasn’t working the engine could be damaged or it could be severely damaged, and it wouldn’t work."
Due to the unplanned landing, make-shift accommodations for passengers were unusual.
"They put us in some military barracks," Santoro said. "It honestly felt like a hotel. It wasn’t too bad. We had soap, water, everything."
Adverse weather and runway conditions at Goose Bay Airport in Newfoundland and Labrador also affected crew duty times, leading to the suspension of operations, according to Delta.
The airline made the necessary arrangements to deploy an additional aircraft to ensure that the passengers reached Detroit Metro Airport by Monday.
Santoro's father said he is just thrilled to have the family reunited this holiday season.
"We can’t believe it’s real," Gerry Santoro said. "He’s actually home after four days of travel. They left Friday night from campus on a bus and every single delay it got more fantastical. Then when we heard they were doing an emergency landing …we just said this is the icing on the cake."
Some passengers said they are still facing difficulties with retrieving their baggage, which was mistakenly placed on a different flight.