San Francisco crash sends ripple effect to Sea-Tac

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

KREM.com

Posted on July 7, 2013 at 6:17 AM

The temporary closure of San Francisco International Airport due to Saturday’s crash of an Asiana Airlines 777 created a ripple effect that hit several airports including Sea-Tac.

Within an hour of the crash, delays and cancellations began.

“It’s a little disconcerting. We’re being delayed because of a plane crash,” said Gloria Katalenic.

Passengers stood in line waiting to find out when they might get to San Francisco.

“I'm not heading there anymore. Now I'm off to San Jose and I'm grateful for it,” said Laureen Bethards.

While many flights to SFO never got off the ground, at least one from Sea-Tac made it almost all the way there.

"I would say we were probably 30 minutes from landing when the captain said, ‘There's been an accident at SFO. You probably all know more than us because it's on the news.’ We check the news, everyone gets a little quiet,” said Jessica Mitrovich.

A full Virgin America flight was turned around and came back to Sea-Tac, leaving those passengers to wonder – what now?

“As far as we know, all the flights are booked through Tuesday at least, so we might be sticking around or flying somewhere else,” said Simon Waddington.

Beyond the inconvenience of cancelled flights, there was an uneasy feeling of what just happened.

"I love flying, but when you hear there's a plane crash, especially at the place you're supposed to be flying into right now, it doesn't feel very good getting off the ground,” said Andrew Hill.

At least five international flights scheduled to fly into San Francisco were diverted to Sea-Tac. Airport spokesman Perry Cooper says Seattle is the closest major airport in the United States for aircraft flying over the north pole and heading to the West Coast.

The flights being diverted to Sea-Tac were coming from London, Dubai, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich.

KING 5's Mitch Pittman contributed to this report

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