Southwest flight WN-872 departed Dallas Love Field at around 7:30 am on Friday, but instead of a one-hour flight north to Kansas City, they initially ended up in Wichita so that a single flight attendant could deplane.
Once the flight attendant had been dropped off, the 17-year-old Boeing 737 was able to make its way to its intended destination in Kansas City where passengers arrived just over an hour late.
Explaining what had happened to Gary Leff from View from the Wing, a spokesperson for Southwest said that a flight was scheduled to operate our of Wichita on Friday morning, but the service was missing a flight attendant who formed part of the minimum crewing level.
Southwest didn’t have another flight specifically flying into Wichita that morning, and without any crew in the local area, the only option was to drop off a so-called ‘deadheading’ flight attendant.
In this case, Southwest decided that the flight from Dallas to Kansas City would incur the least disruption with the unscheduled stopover.
Earlier this month, British holiday airline TUI Airways sent passengers on a four-hour diversion in order to drop off a spare part for an aircraft that was stranded in Tunisia due to a technical issue.
The spare part had been transported from the UK to Calabria in Southern Italy, meaning that the return flight to Britain had to first stopover in Tunisia.
TUI offered customers on the delayed flight free refreshments and confirmed that they would be eligible for compensation under European and British air passenger rules.