American Airlines Flight Status: Why A Miami To Los Angeles Flight Took 20 Hours

It is common for an American Airlines flight to be slightly delayed when it comes to arriving to its desired destination.

Delays frequently occur more than the average consumer realizes with airline carriers overall. The odds of a flight being delayed for 20 hours, though, are very slim. This type of scenario is usually reserved for international flights that cross numerous time zones from one side of the world to another.

The passengers of American Airlines Flight 295 apparently beat those odds earlier this week when their flight from Miami to Los Angeles took 20 hours.

CNN reports that 186 travelers boarded that American Airlines flight at the Miami International Airport Wednesday morning. According to the original schedule, they were supposed to make it to Los Angeles by noon the same day. Instead of making it to L.A. before noon, they reportedly did not arrive until after midnight.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

What happened? Why did this particular American Airlines flight status experience such a drastic change? The complicated journey apparently started with an unexpected mechanical problem within the first plane.

The major airline carrier told CNN that the mechanical issue led to the plane (Airbus A321) landing in Lubbock, Texas.

Passenger Evelyn Albert told KTLA that “there was a noise” and they “were told later that one of the engines went out,” leading to the crew executing an emergency landing in Texas.

American Airlines reacted by arranging for a replacement plane to take the frustrated passengers to Los Angeles without any further delay. While they were successful at getting another plane, another unfortunate delay was right around the corner. After loading the passengers on the replacement plane, a disappointing discovery was later made: the plane needed gas.

With the passengers on-board, the crew flew the plane to American Airlines’ home base in Dallas, Texas, for fuel. The passengers did eventually make it to Los Angeles — at 2:15 a.m. on Thursday, nearly 15 hours after their scheduled arrival time.

As mentioned earlier, the major schedule delay experienced by the passengers of American Airlines Flight 295 this week is extremely rare. The vast majority of domestic flights within the United States depart and arrive on time without a delay at all.

Between October, 2014, and October, 2015, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), 79.5 percent of domestic flights arrived on time. Based on the data gathered from the remaining flights, the following stats show different types of delay along with their corresponding percentages:

  • Aircraft arriving late: 6.84 percent
  • National Aviation System delay: 5.7 percent
  • Air carrier delay: 5.62 percent
  • Weather delay: 0.58 percent
  • Security delay: 0.03 percent

Even though the odds of a delay are relatively slim on a grand scale, a delay of even an hour or so can quickly frustrate the calmest of passengers. For instance, quite a few American Airlines passengers from other flights have complained about various delays this week alone via social media.


It is understandable why such delays would lead to so many different complaints. However, at least the frustrated passengers made it to their desired destinations safely — a bright side that was apparently appreciated by the passengers of Flight 295 earlier this week.

According to CNN, as of Thursday, American Airlines was still trying to figure out what happened with the first plane used for Flight 295.

[Image Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]