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SALT LAKE CITY — “Again, we do apologize," came over the intercom.
Passengers on Delta flight 4507 From Salt Lake City to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, knew something wasn’t right as soon as one of the pilots started talking on the intercom and the airplane started turning around.
“It's something that we wouldn't have known what to do as pilots as far as this airplane not being allowed to land in Mexico." That announcement was recorded on one of the passenger’s cell phones.
The pilot was telling passengers their flight to Puerto Vallarta couldn't land and they were turning around to land in Tucson, Arizona and refuel before flying back to Salt Lake City.
"We got pretty close. I think they said within an hour, or under an hour,” said Casey Boyd, who is from Denver and was heading to Mexico with his wife and child on vacation.
However, when the pilot told passengers they couldn’t land in Mexico because of a paperwork error, Boyd couldn’t believe it.
"No, it sounds pretty unbelievable," Boyd said. "Yeah, I don't know. It doesn't sound like maybe the whole story."
The flight was a Delta Connection flight operated by SkyWest Airlines based in St. George.
No, it sounds pretty unbelievable. Yeah, I don't know. It doesn't sound like maybe the whole story.
–Casey Boyd, traveler
According to SkyWest's spokeswoman, the flight “returned to Salt Lake City at approximately 6 p.m. to correct a paperwork issue. The 57 passengers onboard will be provided with hotel accommodations and have been rebooked on a new flight tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. We apologize to those customers we've inconvenienced and are working to get them on their way as quickly as possible.”
Boyd said before the flight left Salt Lake on Tuesday morning, the gate agent asked for passengers willing to take a later flight because they were using a smaller airplane than originally planned.
It's possible that smaller plane didn't have the proper paperwork to land in Puerto Vallarta, and no one caught the error until it was too late.
"I would like to know more about what happened,” Boyd said.
Still, he says Delta gave him vouchers for a hotel, food, and other expenses, as well as a flight to Mexico for Wednesday morning.
A Delta spokesman said all 57 passengers have been re-booked to Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday morning.
"They've taken pretty good care of us,” Boyd said. “It’s just one less day of vacation.”