Canceled flight strands NC woman in Dominican Republic

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Canceled flight strands NC woman in Punta Cana
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A North Carolina woman's trip to the Dominican Republic turned into a travel nightmare after her return flight was canceled because of mechanical problems.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Tyhara Purcell's girls' trip turned into a travel nightmare. She and a group of girlfriends were celebrating their birthdays in the Dominican Republic, but the trip turned into a desperate attempt to get home.

"I'm currently stuck in Punta Cana. the Dominican Republic.," said Tyhara Purcell.

She was scheduled to depart Sunday from Punta Cana International Airport for Charlotte on American Airlines flight 782, but that plane never took off. Officials told her the plane needed repairs.

"There's a few stories that have been told to us. One story was it was one part. The part was supposed to be here yesterday. Once the part came, we were told there were three parts," she said.

The Scotland County resident has an esophagus condition that prevents her from swallowing without assistance. She's having chest pains.

"It's been a nightmare. I take six pills to eat and live. I haven't had my medication, so I only brought what I needed for the trip," she said. "So I have to sit and suffer until I get back to the United States."

American Airlines sent ABC11 the following statement:

American Airlines Flight 782 with service from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ) to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) was delayed Sunday due to a mechanical issue. Customers were provided hotel accommodations and meal vouchers and are expected to depart for CLT shortly. We never want to disrupt our customers' travel plans and apologize for the inconvenience.

Flight cancellations and delays are surging no matter the airline.

According to Purcell, hundreds of people are stuck at the Punta Cana International airport.

She said that next time it's likely she won't book with American Airlines.

"I typically fly with them, but after this, I don't know," she said.

ABC11 spoke to Purcell and she returned home Tuesday afternoon. She did mention that some on her flight had been stranded since Thursday.