While on a long-haul flight from Beijing to Seattle on December 24, the 194 passengers aboard Delta Airlines’ flight 128 made a pit stop in the middle of nowhere, i.e. Shemya Island, Alaska. The flight diversion was caused by a potential engine issue, so no one was expecting to spend any time on the tiny, remote island that consisted solely of a runway strip in the Bering Sea.
I'm still alive! So… we lost one engine, landed on a US air force base in Alaska in the middle of the ocean. Delta sent another plane from Seattle to pick us up, and after waiting for 12 hours we are finally on the flight back🤷♂️ what a great story to tell my grandchildren pic.twitter.com/gk9JZDRJ2T
The passengers probably weren’t too impressed by the frigid weather on Sheyma, which was 39 degrees Fahrenheit, with winds up to 27 miles per hour. Shortly after the flight landed, Delta sent a new plane with a team of mechanics, crew, and airport customer service, to get the passengers on their way.
Finally on the way to Seattle after spending the last 12 hours on an island in the middle of Pacific North Pole. Wish I hadn’t left PEK. #DL128pic.twitter.com/f9QnqXQ3UO
The island is often used for emergency landings, or as a refueling station for commercial flights across the Pacific Ocean. Luckily, passengers did eventually reach Seattle around 10:00 PM the same day, so no Christmases were missed.