ASA grounds planes for re-inspections - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ASA grounds planes for re-inspections

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Safety concerns grounded 60 Atlantic Southeast Airlines jets stranding as many as 200 people trying to fly into and out of Albany Wednesday, and there could be more delays.

Two inbound and two outbound flights at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport were canceled when the airline grounded 40 percent of its fleet for engine safety inspections. 

If you didn't fly out of Albany at 6:00 this morning, you weren't getting out of town by air today. Customers on Albany's mid-day and evening flights were stranded when ASA, the only commercial carrier suddenly grounded 60 planes.

Kevin Weeden, who had another meeting to make in Raleigh, North Carolina, caught a ride to Atlanta with a colleague. "I was in a little bit of a panic because I knew this was the only fights out for the day," he said.

Others turned to the only alternative, Albany car rental agents to make their Atlanta connection.

"Everyone wanted a car this morning, we've had about four people already checked out going towards Atlanta which was unusual when there's not already booked it was walk ups, going to Atlanta," said Lateshia Bowman.

A paperwork audit raised questions as to whether the engines on the airlines Bombardier CRJ-200 jets were properly inspected according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Planes were grounded to make those inspections.

With more than 100 jets in the system that fly in and out of Albany, officials are hopeful the last flight today will arrive on time before 9:30.

"If you don't have that last outbound coming or inbound coming then we have no flight to put out first thing in the morning," said Airport Manager Yvette Aehle

Which could cause more delays in southwest Georgia tomorrow. Overall customers have been understanding.

"Under the circumstances I understand, I'm not as frustrated," said Weeden.

But could face more delays as ASA expects it could take through the weekend to complete their inspections.

If you're making an airline reservation include a phone number on your reservation, that way an airline can reach you if your flight is canceled or delayed. ASa was able to contact all but two passengers to alert them that this afternoon's flight had been canceled.

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