'Very frustrating': Bay Area travelers see more cancelations from Boeing 737 MAX 9 groundings

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Monday, January 8, 2024
More flight cancelations in Bay Area from Boeing 737 MAX 9 groundings
Bay Area airports were still seeing delays and cancellations Sunday after the FAA grounded nearly 200 Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplanes.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bay Area airports were still seeing delays and cancellations Sunday after the FAA grounded nearly 200 Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplanes. The agency is conducting an urgent investigation of the aircraft two days after a terrifying mid-air emergency that left a hole in the side of an Alaska Airlines jet.

"It's very, very, very frustrating," said Patience Obahor.

Obahor from Dallas was feeling no patience at SFO Sunday after Alaska Airlines canceled her and her husband's 1:30 p.m. flight home.

"I'm hearing this for the first time. I didn't know they had a problem Friday," Obahor said.

RELATED: All 3 Bay Area airports impacted by FAA's grounding of 737 Max 9 planes

"I got a call the flight is canceled. I said, 'We already checked out of the hotel. What are we going to do?'" said Cletus Obahor.

Stunning video on board the Boeing 737 MAX 9 plane showed a gaping hole in the side. Friday's flight, initially headed for Ontario, California, returned to the Portland, Oregon International Airport for an emergency landing ten minutes after takeoff. There were no serious injuries. But the loss of the mid-cabin door plug is raising questions and concerns.

"We are very fortunate here that this didn't end up as something more tragic. No one was seated in 26A and B, where that door plug is," said National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy.

The FAA said in a statement; "Our first priority is keeping the flying public safe. We have grounded the affected airplanes, and they will remain grounded until the FAA is satisfied that they are safe."

RELATED: Federal officials order grounding of some Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners after plane suffers a blowout

ABC7 News saw several Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9s parked on an SFO tarmac away from terminals. A ground crew was looking over the planes.

The grounding cancelled dozens of Alaska and United Airlines flights Sunday, on a busy travel day when SFO was seeing lots of post-holiday travelers coming and going.

"I received a text at 2 a.m. that my flight was cancelled. They were good enough to book me on a different flight about four hours later," said David Dixon from Seattle.

Alaska Airlines posted on X: "We are deeply sorry for the disruption the 737-9 MAX grounding has caused our guests. We expect the disruption to last through at least mid-week."

RELATED: Here's what we know about the door plug that blew off Alaska Airlines flight to SoCal

For the Obahors, it's not the way they wanted their Bay Area vacation to end.

"It's going to be their responsibility to arrange transfer to another airline," said Cletus Obahor.

The airline was able to get the couple on a later flight to Dallas.

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