Flightmare: Relieved passengers finally in New York after plane lands 24 hours late

EAST ELMHURST, Queens (WABC) -- It was no one's idea of a pleasant layover - a plane-load of vacationers airdropped into a tiny, snow-covered airport in New Hampshire. This came after Delta Flight 944 diverted from Kennedy Airport...but it was only just the beginning.

"It's been 28 hours traveling for a three and a half hour flight," said Rick Lipset of Bath Beach.

A full day later, the passengers finally staggered through the doors of JFK.

"I feel great now that my feet are on the ground. Yes, it's good to be back," says Corie Buonanno of Tarrytown.

The flight from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic was supposed to arrive at JFK just after 6pm Monday night, but with bad weather and dwindling fuel, the pilots diverted it to Manchester, New Hampshire, where there were customs officers.

On Tuesday morning, the pilot tried again, but hit air so rough and then turned around.

"You look out the window, you can't even see," said Leonard Garcia of East Meadow.

The flight then went to Boston, and then spent another four hours on the ground before heading home for a third time. They finally arrived at JFK around 8 p.m. Tuesday, where passengers had nothing but nice things to say about their crew - after all, they got to know them very well.

"They handled it beautifully. They were as accommodating as possible, and friendly. They were going through it with us, and they put on that stoic face and did what they do every day," says Buonanno.

"I told the captain thank you for keeping us safe - he was very professional, and thank God he was an experienced pilot," adds Garcia.

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