A flight from Atlantic City to Boston was delayed Sunday night because there were no TSA agents in the airport to process the pilots, so they couldn't get on the plane.
“The crowd started to get a little testy on board the plane," said Mike D'Angelo, a passenger on the flight.
The flight had already been delayed for hours, but D'Angelo said he and other passengers on the Spirit Airlines flight became more upset when they were told why they'd have to wait a while longer on the ground at Atlantic City International Airport.
“The gate agent who came onto the plane with an update said the pilots are on their way but they can’t get to the plane because there’s nobody at TSA to process them," D'Angelo stated. "The TSA folks had gone home… so they were waiting for somebody to come back to the airport from TSA.”
Spirit Flight 332 was supposed to leave Atlantic City at 5 p.m. Sunday night, but bad weather elsewhere in the country kept passengers from boarding until 8 p.m. It was nearly another hour before the pilots boarded.
“How can Atlantic City airport be without a TSA presence when there’s still people there? It’s not like this is 3 o’clock in the morning," added D'Angelo.
In a statement, Spirit explained that its pilot and first officer were delayed by weather on their prior flight. The airline noted "TSA had closed operations but reopened at Spirit's request and the crew was able to make the flight."
D'Angelo said he arrived in Boston around 10 p.m., about four hours behind schedule.
“We all know Atlantic City’s problems and I think with the airport being a front door for Atlantic City, it’s got to be a little bit more of a big time operation," D'Angelo concluded.
Spirit also says passengers were able to get off the plane during the waiting period.
The airline says it does everything it can not to cancel flights and is an industry leader when it comes to fewest delays.
A spokesperson for TSA told NBC10 Spirit did not inform them of any late arriving crew members.