CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – American Airlines Flight 720 from Charlotte to Rome has returned to the Charlotte Airport after a reported maintenance issue, according to the airline.
The flight was in the air for about four hours. An American Airlines spokesperson tells Queen City News that the flight needed to burn off fuel before it could land.
The plane took off around 4:30 p.m. Monday. FlightAware reported the flight traveled through most of Virginia and grazed Maryland’s border before circling back to North Carolina.
It landed just before 9:15 p.m., a spokesperson says the plane landed safely and managed to taxi to the gate under its own power. Passengers did not deplane until nearly 10 p.m.
Passenger Benjamin Wooster was going to Rome to visit his sister.
“It was so confusing; I don’t know what happened. They just made us turn around and come back to Charlotte because something malfunctioned, but nobody really explained what happened or what the problem was.”
A passenger from Italy who identified herself as Frankie was taking her grandson back to Rome with her on holiday and told us that the entire ordeal was frustrating. They spent two hours in the air before she said that they were informed that a gauge was broken on the plane and that they would have to turn back around.
“So, we stayed two hours on the flight to dump fuel,” Frankie told Queen City News.
Passengers will not be boarding another plane tonight. The flight to Rome has been rescheduled to depart from Charlotte on Tuesday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. The passengers we spoke with will be going to a hotel for the night.
“I have to call people now in Rome who’s waiting for us… so now they have to pick us up on Wednesday,” said Frankie.
American Airlines says a maintenance team is inspecting the aircraft.
“We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans, and we are sorry for the trouble this caused,” said an American Airlines spokesperson in a statement to Queen City News.