An American Airlines flight was forced to take an unexpected diversion due to an issue with the bathrooms. Flight AA164 was travelling from San Francisco to New York City on Monday when it had to divert to Chicago when the bathrooms were found to be ‘unusable’.
Malfunctioning bathrooms on flight AA164
The American Airlines flight departed San Francisco at 11:10am EST as planned. It was scheduled to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City at around 4:36pm EST.
However, towards the end of the flight, the Airbus A321 had to divert to Chicago when the bathrooms were found to be unusable. First reported by flight tracking website Flightradar24, the aircraft was grounded for around 45 minutes while maintenance was undertaken.
Flightradar24’s Twitter account reported the flight diversion, later stating that, “the aircraft spent 45 minutes on the ground in Chicago to put the lavatories back in service.”
The flight left Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) at 4:14pm EST, arriving at its destination just over an hour late.
Is a diversion really necessary for bathroom problems?
Although it was only a short flight, American Airlines were absolutely right to land the plane to inspect the problem. Regardless of what the cause may be, it could be a signal that other plane facilities may also not be working correctly. Taking precaution to ensure the safety of the passengers is essential.
Speaking to Business Insider, American Airlines said:
“We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we are sorry for the trouble this diversion has caused the 74 passengers on this flight,”
We talked to the airline too, who clarified to Simple Flying that:
“American Airlines 164 diverted to Chicago to have an issue with the lavatories addressed. The plane landed at ORD at 2:03pm CT and was airborne to JFK at 3:14pm CT after the issued was addressed by our Chicago team.”
While any delay on a flight is frustrating for passengers, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. At least they weren’t half way across the Atlantic at the time.
Although we don’t know the cause of the bathroom issue, the aircraft was returned to normal service following the incident. No other issues were reported, and all 74 passengers arrived at their destination safely.