Pilot work limits divert American flight

An American Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles was diverted to Chicago early Monday.

Story highlights

  • Weather delayed an American flight out of Boston for more than two hours
  • Pilot work rules forced the flight to divert to Chicago

(CNN)First, it was the snowy weather.

An American Airlines flight trying to leave Boston on Sunday night was delayed for about 2½ hours before it finally took off at 10:52 p.m.
The crew of American Flight 223 knew hours before takeoff that they couldn't go the distance to Los Angeles.
    The first officer was going to exceed his allotted work time, as dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration, if he flew the entire route, American spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said.
    That's why the crew made the decision to divert to Chicago O'Hare International Airport that night and informed the passengers hours prior to takeoff, Lupica said.
    The passengers were told about the stop in Chicago while still in the Boston boarding area, several hours before departing, she said. They would have had time to rebook if they wanted to do so.
    "Certainly, the weather had a lot to do with this decision," Lupica said. "It was prudent to depart and be able to go as far as Chicago," especially with the snow predictions in the Boston area.
    Given Monday's snowfall in the Boston area, it seems like a smart decision to get out of town.
    It's not likely the flight would have taken off Monday. Boston Logan International Airport remained open, but most flights have been canceled, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said.
    Snowstorms in the Northeast have caused the cancellation and delay of thousands of flights over the past couple months.
    FlightAware.com showed more than 700 flights within, into and out of the United States canceled for Sunday, on top of the more than 1,500 flights scheduled to be scrubbed Monday.
    Flight 223's passengers landed in Chicago just after midnight and were put up in hotels overnight.
    They departed Chicago with a new crew at 8:05 a.m. Monday and landed in Los Angeles at 10:11 a.m., according to FlightAware.com.