Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Flight from hell: 4 hour trip turns into 30 hours

WNBC reported that Delta Flight 944 was scheduled to leave Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic Monday at 3:15 p.m. local time and land four hours later at JFK at 6:15 p.m.

Passenger Aye Soe said that the pilot announced that heavy airport traffic kept them from landing, so he circled the New York area.

Then the pilot made another announcement.

"He said that we were low on fuel and had to land in 10 minutes or we needed to be diverted," passenger Lauren Karasek told The Chicago Tribune.

Once the plane had fuel, the pilot and crew had to switch because of work hour requirements.

The international flight meant the passengers, who had to deboard the plane, had to go to customs.

But no customs officers were there to monitor them because Manchester-Boston Regional Airport does not usually allow international flights, according to WFXT.

So customs agents had to be brought in from Portland, Maine, while passengers waited on the plane for two hours.

Delta accommodated passengers in nearby hotels and departed the airport Tuesday.

Some passengers opted to book another flight or rent cars instead of continuing the original flight.

>> Read more trending stories

Passengers who remained expected to land in JFK, but severe winds and turbulence led to another diversion.

This time, the flight landed in Boston, but not before turbulence made many passengers sick.

"There were a lot of people getting sick, several people needed oxygen," passenger Maribel Reyes said. "It was really bad, I never experienced turbulence like that. I thought the plane was going to break in half. The pilot described it as a blender."

After another delay in Boston due to security concerns after landing at 3 p.m., the flight eventually landed at JFK 30 hours after the original fight departed.

"The flight redeparted for JFK the following day as Delta flight 9929 but diverted to Boston as a result of severe weather in New York," spokesman Michael Thomas said in a statement. "With improving conditions, the flight arrived at JFK before 8 p.m. EST Tuesday."

Thomas said that passengers were offered 12,500 Skymiles and those who did not have a Delta frequent flyer account were given vouchers. He could not say the voucher amount.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.