"It seemed ridiculous to me that all of us woke up early this morning to get up on a super early flight, without a stopover, and once we got to it we were told that the flight could not take off , "said Mitch Danforth, passenger on Alaska Airlines Flight 709.
Danforth said he boarded at 6:15 on Saturday morning and that everyone seemed normal.
He said that a member of the flight crew announced to a speaker that they could not use the longer runway, and that he therefore needed 35 passengers to change aircraft to reduce weight on board.
"The most frustrating part for me was that they didn't provide incentives that would get people off the plane," Danforth said.
The airline did not find enough passengers to change, and eventually the plane was canceled. Danforth said he boarded at 8.45am.
In a Twitter response to a passenger, Alaska Airlines said they were offering "compensation" but gave specifications. A follow-up tweet to the passenger said: "This flight had to be canceled because the crew had left."
A separate tweet acknowledged the runway issue.
Danforth estimated that there were about 1
"For me, it's about the stress of traveling. Yes, we lost today in San Francisco, which is frustrating enough, but it's about car hire bookings, it's about the hotel, it's about all the pieces of the puzzle. And now we just have to change our plans completely because they didn't have things set up properly, "Danforth said.
A customer service representative told Danforth that guests would be compensated, and urged him to save their receipts for meals incurred while waiting for a refund.
When asked about an agreement between RDU and Alaska Airlines to allow them to use the longer runway on certain flights, RDU ABC 11 sent the following statement:
The airlines handle cancellations, so I can't confirm why a particular flight was canceled, but I can tell you that our longer runway is switched off for repai rs as part of a contingency project.
When it comes to cross-country flights, airlines may use the longer runway because of the weight of the aircraft. We communicate with the airlines well in advance about the repair plan and the accessibility of the runways. During the months that the conservation project has been going on, we have had no problems with West Coast flights taking off from RDU daily.
ABC 11 reached Alaska Airlines to learn more about this cancellation. As of Sunday evening, they have not responded.
Copyright © 2019 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.