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I love air travel, and it has taken me and my family to places I would have never dreamed possible. Truly, air travel (and miles and points) has bee a blessing in my life, and I’m grateful for all the opportunities it’s given me. When air travel goes well, it’s amazing. But sometimes… it doesn’t go so well. These types of irregular operations (IRROPS) can really throw havoc in your travel plans, especially if you have connecting flights.

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A Flight To Cleveland

This flight diversion story actually comes not from my personal experience, but from my sister. She was flying to visit my parents, traveling on Frontier from Sacramento to Cleveland, with a connection in Denver. Everything went well with the first flight and the connection (thankfully, because… Frontier). But then late at night, around 11pm Eastern time, my wife mentioned something to me about how my sister was flying up to Cleveland. So I thought I’d check FlightAware to see how she was doing.

(SEE ALSO: The #1 trick to tell if your flight is going to be delayed)

a screenshot of a computer

Uhoh… At this point, I wasn’t 100% sure which flight she was on, though I suspected it would be Frontier, even though last time she flew Frontier she did say she would never fly them again.

Uh oh – Thunderstorms (and a Diversion)

Turns out there were major thunderstorms in the Cleveland area, and, according to FlightAware, all inbound flights to CLE were being held at their destinations. It turned out that my sister WAS on that Frontier flight, and it ended up being diverted to Cincinnati (CVG), where I live. I started texting her once she landed to see what was going on and if she would need me to pick her up. I was nervous that the pilots or flight attendants would time out and they wouldn’t be able to operate the flights and Frontier would just be like “oh well – everyone off the plane, we can get you to Cleveland in 3 days”.

a screen shot of a computer

But it turned out that they were on the ground for about an hour, got more fuel and continued on to Cleveland later that evening (well, later the next morning)

And look ! It’s the restoration of CVG-CLE service! (discontinued by Delta decades ago). There were several other flights that diverted to other airports – I saw a few United flights that diverted to ORD.

a screenshot of a schedule

A Laaaaaaate Night

They were on the ground in CVG about 90 minutes before continuing on to Cleveland. And due to the thunderstorms they had to take a circuitous route. Though according to this Flightaware image I snapped the next morning, it looks like they went out of their way to fly directly through the storm 🙂

a map of a city

It was a long day – my mom said they didn’t get back to their house after picking her up from the airport until about 3:30 a.m.

a screenshot of a computer

The Bottom Line

A Frontier flight (along with several other flights) was diverted from landing at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport due to severe thunderstorms and had to divert to Cincinnati (CVG). After being on the ground there for around 90 minutes, it continued to Cleveland, making for a very long day. Still, that was a better outcome than it could have been, if Frontier had had to keep the plane at CVG overnight or even longer.

Got any good flight diversion stories? Leave them in the comments below

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