Monsoon messes up flights across Valley

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- The monsoon storms caused the diversion of more than half a dozen flights inbound to the Valley Friday afternoon and evening.

Four U.S. Airways flights landed somewhere other than their Sky Harbor destination.  The same happened to one Delta flight.  The big British Airways 747 ended up being rerouted to Las Vegas.

One Allegiant Air jet bound for Mesa-Gateway was also diverted to Sky Harbor.

“Oh it was just, it was frustrating,” said Sarah Griffin, who was on the plane diverted from Mesa to Phoenix.

As the winds kicked up in Mesa, the jet bound for the Mesa-Gateway airport had to fly over and land at Sky Harbor.  Meanwhile, as the storms moved into Phoenix, two U.S. Airways commuter jets had to reroute to Mesa-Gateway, where they sat on the tarmac for two hours before finally making the five minute jump over to their original destination.

“You are so close to home, you are so close to the airport -- it's not like we were given the option to get off and the air conditioning turned off as soon as the engines turned off,” said Griffin, a little frazzled from the experience.

It was all too much for some passengers.

“There was a mutiny on the plane.  A bunch of people wanted to get off,” said Philip Hallman, who was also on the plane diverted  to Sky Harbor.  “[The airline staff] started telling this little old lady they were going to give her a ticket and get the police involved if she didn’t shut up and sit down.”

Fifteen people were let off the U.S. Airways flights that were diverted from Sky Harbor to Mesa-Gateway.