Boise flights affected by San Francisco plane crash

July 6, 2013 

Passengers on a United Airlines flight from Boise to San Francisco were 10 minutes from landing when the pilots were told to disengage from their flight path. The pilots guiding United 5543 were ordered to circle twice near the California coast north of San Francisco and then told to divert to Sacramento, according to a tracking map from FlightAware.

An Asiana Airlines flight with more than 300 people aboard crashed into the runway at San Francisco International Airport at 11:27 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. At least two people were killed and another 181 people were taken to area hospitals. One person was unaccounted for.

The airport was closed for several hours and hundreds of flights were canceled or diverted to other airports.

United 5543 left Boise at 11:29 a.m. Mountain Time. The 50-passenger Bombardier CRJ-200 was scheduled to arrive in San Francisco an hour and 54 minutes later. Instead, it arrived at Sacramento International Airport at 12:23 p.m. Pacific time.

Two earlier flights arrived in San Francisco to Boise. An afternoon flight that was scheduled to leave Boise at 2:09 p.m. was still listed as “delayed” more than four hours later. By 8 p.m., it was cancelled. A 4:05 p.m. flight to Boise from San Francisco was similarly listed as “delayed” until being cancelled several hours later.

Two afternoon flights from San Francisco to Boise were cancelled, United 5543, scheduled to depart at 1:50 p.m., and United 6386, scheduled to leave at 4:05 p.m.

“On a holiday weekend, they were probably full,” said Patty Miller, spokeswoman for the Boise Air Terminal.

United, with flights handled on a contract basis to and from Boise through Skywest, is the only local airline with service to San Francisco.

Two of San Francisco’s four runways reopened Saturday evening. It was unclear how today’s flights might be affected.

Both United and Virgin Airlines said they would allow passengers with flights booked for Sunday or Monday to reschedule at no charge.

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