‘Delay after delay’: Passengers stranded in the Dominican Republic after flight cancellation

CHARLOTTE — Several passengers told Channel 9 that their vacation turned into a nightmare when their return flight to Charlotte was canceled, and they were stranded in the Dominican Republic for days.

An American Airlines flight to Punta Cana was scheduled to return on Sunday, but after several delays and cancelations, the flight arrived late Tuesday afternoon.

“It was delay after delay after delay after delay,” said passenger Candice Leathers.

Christopher Napierala and his wife Maria were also scheduled on that flight.

“I literally felt like we were being held hostage the entire time,” said Napierala. “We would get to the airport around 6 or 7 a.m., wait for 12 hours, (and then) they would reschedule the flight.”

American Airlines told Channel 9 the delays were due to a mechanical issue, and it turned what was a five-day trip into an eight-day trip.

The airline said all customers were provided hotel accommodations and meal vouchers.

In a statement, American Airlines said, “We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans and apologize for the inconvenience.”

Nikia Ritchie and her son Braylen were also affected, and they said they plan to get their money back.

“Yes, yes, we ran out of clothes; I ran out of medication; money is still OK, but I know that was a problem for a lot of people. Some people received vouchers, some didn’t. It was hard,” Ritchie said.

American Airline flew repair crews and parts to fix the aircraft in the Dominican Republic, and some passengers said that fact in itself was a bit concerning.

“Most of the people did not want to go on the plane because they were afraid...I don’t want to go on a plane that was pieced back together in two hours,” said Napierala.

American Airlines did not specify to Channel 9 what the issue was on the plane, but passengers say they were told it was a weather radar navigation issue.

(WATCH BELOW: Flights delays, cancellations at Charlotte Douglas causing issues with passengers’ workweek)

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