‘They have been so rude’: Travelers upset after flight to London suddenly diverted to Boston

A plane headed to London was diverted to Boston’s Logan International Airport after the Federal Aviation Administration said a crew member saw smoke in the cabin.

The plane landed safely just after 5 a.m. Monday and no one was hurt.

Jenna Glieespen, of London, said a British Airlines duty manager threatened to call the police on her when she asked what to do next.

They have been so rude today,” said Glieepsen with her eyes full of tears, “I can’t imagine paying thousands and thousands a flight…They told people, ‘Hey, get your hotel. Here’s a number you can call and you might be reimbursed.’”

She was on British Airways flight 29C that took off from Washington D.C on Sunday night just before midnight and was heading to London. Some passengers say about three-and-a-half hours into the flight they were told the plane is turning around and heading to Boston.


“I just started to notice on the map that we were suddenly turning back and then the map kind of got shut down and the captain made the announcement that we were being redirected,” Michael Hennessy, also of London, recalled.

Paramedics brought a stretcher into the terminal but came back out with it empty.

Some confused and exhausted passengers filled the baggage claim area wondering what to do next.

British Air could have been a little more helpful,” Janice Siegel, of Virginia, said. “The messaging wasn’t perfect.”

In a statement, British Airways said, “We have apologized to our customers for the delay in their journey due to a technical issue. Safety is our top priority and we would never operate a flight unless it was safe to do so.”

Some passengers said they noticed a burning smell on the flight while others said they didn’t smell anything unusual. Photos shared by one passenger showed firefighters and EMTs on the plane after in landed.


More than five hours after the plane landed in Boston, some passengers were still waiting in line for new tickets and a hotel.

“Things happen when you travel. You have to be resilient,” said Siegel.

Boston 25 has reached out to British Airways to clarify what the technical issue was.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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