For the record, if you drove from Dallas to Los Angeles, the trip should take roughly 12 hours. In other words, eight hours or so more than a recent American Airlines flight that was supposed to be heading to Tokyo.
On May 28, passengers board a plane at DFW for the capital of Japan, ready to buckle in for a long trans-Pacific flight. Seven hours into the flight, as the plane was crossing over the North Pacific Ocean going due west, the captain had to turn the plan around because of “weather conditions.” Well, a more accurate description would be a volcanic eruption in Bezymianny, a peninsula off Russia’s east coast.
Volcanic eruptions tend to get pilots’ attention, so instead of plowing forward, the flight turned around and decided to head back to the United States, destination LAX in Los Angeles. Five hours after the u-turn, the plane touched down in California, 12 hours after it took off. The total time it should have taken to get from Dallas to Tokyo is 13 hours, just one hour less.
Was it the right decision? Not necessarily considering other planes that flew the same route just added an hour of flight time to their route by adjusting their path instead of turning a half-day trip into a two-day nightmare for passengers.