A Japanese airport refused to allow a short-haul flight's plane to land because it was 10 minutes past curfew, forcing the passengers to fly back to their departure city.
On February 19, a plane switch caused Japan Airlines flight JL 331 to depart Tokyo for Fukuoka with a 90-minute delay.
The airport turned it away for missing the 22:00 cutoff time as it was mere minutes away from landing.
The aircraft was then made to circle until it located an airport for landing.
The first attempt to land was at a Kitakyushu airport, which is close to Fukuoka. The airline later clarified that the plane was turned down because buses couldn't be arranged to transport the passengers to lodging.
The main issue, according to the airline, was where to put the 335 passengers who were traveling with them.
Similar to this, passengers were unable to disembark when the aircraft made a fueling stop at Osaka's Kansai Airport because hotels could not be scheduled.
Ultimately. Everyone on board was transported back to Tokyo, where they had to board the aircraft once more the next day.
Online travelers reported that their two-hour flight had become a 16-hour ordeal. However, they claimed that the airline had given them a fair settlement.
A passenger reported receiving a new boarding pass, 20,000 yen ($148; £123) in cash, and water while spending the night at the hotel on Twitter.
Due to nearby residential areas, the original destination, Fukuoka Airport, has a policy banning flights between 22:00 and 07:00.
According to officials, if the delay is unavoidable, planes may land after the airport closes. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that examples of such occurrences include inclement weather or runway congestion.
The newspaper reported that officials did not consider JL 331's delay to be "unavoidable.".
According to flight data, other flights were permitted to land that evening after the deadline. Other flights were also delayed earlier in the day at Tokyo's Haneda airport as a result of strong winds.
According to Bloomberg, flight JL 331 was the only one turned away.