American Airlines Put People Back on the Same Plane After a Mid-air Electrical Fault — Then It Happened Again

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American Airlines passengers were put back onto an aircraft which was forced into an emergency landing the day before after an electrical fault— only for the same thing to happen again.

The passengers had spent an unscheduled night in Phoenix, Arizona, on their way from Los Angeles International Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy, because of an electrical fault with a chiller on board the Airbus A321.

But, not long into their replacement flight to New York, staff noticed a similar fault which meant the plane had to land again.

Passengers were put on flight AA9240 just after midday Thursday, around 12 hours after the emergency landing, which was at around midnight the night before.

They spent less than half an hour in the air before coming back, after what American described as an “electrical smell” from the device. This map, from tracking site flightradar24, shows the brief journey:

A passenger on board, who asked not to be named, described the experience to Business Insider. American Airlines confirmed the details of their account.

A spokesman for the airline said the Airbus A321 had undergone maintenance work between the two flights. After the second landing, it was taken out of service altogether.

A statement said:

“The aircraft that was previously diverted to Phoenix the other night was fixed Thursday morning. The issue was isolated to the aircraft chiller in the forward galley of the aircraft. Most passengers had already been rebooked on other flights from Phoenix to New York, when the flight continued under Flight 9240.

(Sometimes when we have the same flight number operating on the same day we need to renumber the flight number.)

Once airborne from Phoenix, a similar issue involving an odor from the chiller was noticed by our crew, and the flight returned back to Phoenix. The aircraft is out of service, as our team continues to troubleshoot the source of the odor, which may be a faulty fan.

The return on the second flight was NOT an emergency landing, and it was an electrical smell from the area where the chiller is installed in the front galley.”

After the second landing, passenger Addisa Gugal tweeted: “Complete disregard for passenger safety.”

“After making an emergency landing last night because the cabin smelled like an electrical fire, American Airlines put us back on the same plane this morning because they ‘needed the plane in NY’ and we had to make another emergency landing.”

Another passenger, who wished to remain anonymous, told Business Insider that passengers were not aware they were getting back on the plane from the previous day.

Another third passenger, Jason Gallus, tweeted: “I was on flight AA10 last night LAX to JFK and smoke filled up the cabin and we had to make an emergency landing in Phoenix.”

“Then this morning my parents went on the same aircraft flight AA9240 and 20 minutes into the flight had to make another emergency landing, with all the same passengers.”

On the first flight from LAX on Wednesday, passenger Terron Austin, tweeted that there had been a “sudden burst of smoke followed by an announcement to immediately prepare for landing.”

American said it was investigating the reports of smoke on the first flight, but strongly denied that there had been smoke on the second.

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