Passengers Riot After Flight Diversion And Long Delay

On Monday, a Gol flight from São Paulo Guarulhos airport to Minas Gerais in Brazil took off but wound up diverting back to São Paulo due to weather.

Passengers got frustrated with a lack of help getting rebooked, and facing spending the night where they started. And they started to riot.

According to the airline,

GOL informs that, after take-off, flight G3 1324 (Guarulhos – Confins) had to return to Guarulhos Airport, due to adverse weather conditions in Confins. The Company emphasizes that it offered the necessary support to all customers and accommodated passengers to continue their journey on flights scheduled for this Tuesday.

Eventually the Brazilian low cost carrier part-owned by American Airlines put passengers up in hotels and rebooked them for the following morning.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Florida man: I’m world famous for my outrageously bad behavior.

    Brazilian man to Florida man: Hold my beer.

  2. As an American that lived in Brasil for 2 1/2 years. I can tell you that they are the kindest, sweetest people, unless something goes wrong. When it does, the US “Karen” can’t hold a candle to a Brasilian that feels that they are getting screwed.

    Get a bunch riled up, and that’s what you get. Those with $R feel very entitled.

  3. My first thought was, “At least this isn’t American AIrlines.”

    And then I learn that Gol is partially owned by AA.

  4. I would hardly say it was “passengers.” Looks like one unhinged guy. With his wife later losing it as a result. Of course, according to the title, one would imagine a mob.

  5. Let me add this, if you listen and can understand what they are saying, as I am sure Gary has not, you will see that they were left in line for 7 hours with a 5-month old baby. While this father’s violent act was certainly not the answer, or justified, let’s be clear at least that there is more to this story.

    Gary, please try and be fair and at least report both sides…that is, if you had bothered to learn of this family’s situation, there would become far more of a story to tell in seeing that this was not just some random crazy lunatic. Being kinder to each other nowadays includes being responsible in your reporting both sides and the complete frustration with air travel here and elsewhere.

  6. 1) Gary writes: “a Gol flight from São Paulo Guarulhos airport to Minas Gerais” Minas Gerais is a state. There are several airports and cities in Minas Gerais. That’s like saying “a flight from Dallas to Colorado”

    2) What is the point/relevance of AA’s minority ownership of Gol? Has precisely zero to with the incident described here…

    You keep up that “thought leadership” Gary,

  7. Leave it to Leff to somehow tie AA in with this debacle. I’m not sure Gary would know what to do with himself if he were reassigned by View from the Wing to stop churning out toothless complaint articles about AA.

  8. GOL staff called the police on me over their mistake so I am somewhat sympathetic to the passengers. Violence is never the answer but I can testify to how terrible GOL’s ground service is and how the incompetent staff might take you there.

  9. Jeez – and that was a weather delay! I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if was an operational delay.

  10. I agree that we can sympathize with these people as the treatment they got by GOL appears to be lacking to say the least…. but…. to me, that does not then translate into some kind of a free pass to destroy airline (or airport) property nor possibly risk the safety of staff during the event or by damaged property itself.

    I would be ok with a criminal arrest and prosecution for both acts.

    but again, it also sounds like GOL has some apologies to make of their own as well.

  11. I can absolutely understand the frustration. Many airlines (not just LCCs) have cut in-person service options to the bone. While this saves money and is easy to ignore when things go smoothly, you are effectively on your own when things do NOT go smoothly. All the while, you may take comfort from credit card coverage to reimburse expenses, but these claims always require a statement from the airline explaining the reason for the delay (to ensure it is covered by the credit card policy). It is just as impossible to get these statements as it is to get actual assistance from non-existent ground staff. All to say that nothing ends well when you start throwing things around, but airlines have done this to themselves.

  12. Trash Karen of the week reporting by Gary. That being said, I love the lady in the back smashing the printer while holding a baby.

  13. I think for it to be classified as a riot you need at least two people who are not married to each other to participate.

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