PHILADELPHIA INT'L AIRPORT (WTXF/AP) - The first flight from Philadelphia to Iceland was not a smooth one.
That Icelandair flight bound for Reykjavik with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on board had to be diverted to Boston for an undisclosed reason.
A website tracking commercial flights shows the plane was diverted around 10:45pm Tuesday and landed in Boston at about 12:30am Wednesday.
Neither airport officials in Philadelphia nor Boston responded to requests for comment.
Passenger Brett Slakoff said, “There was a weird smell as we got on to the plane” and it wasn’t from the bathroom, even though he was in the back.
“I watched a movie and I noticed throughout the movie that we weren't on the course to Reykjavik, we were on the course to Boston so I thought maybe that was a technical glitch,” Slakoff said.
According to Melissa Ostroff, another passenger, “There wasn't anything particularly weird about the plane. It was maybe a little bit hot. So I wasn't sure if there was an air conditioning issue. Otherwise it was a very relaxing normal flight until that happened.”
Mayor Kenney’s spokesperson Lauren Hitt put out this statement:
“The mayor is disembarking the plane along with the rest of the delegation and spending the evening in Boston … Additionally, PHL Airport regrets the significant inconvenience this has caused all those on board. We and Icelandair are committed to doing all we can to ensure future travelers have a smooth travel experience on this new route. This is obviously very out of the ordinary.”
Icelandair tweeted an apology for the "inconvenience" in response to a reporter on board the flight.
Kenney's spokeswoman says it is tradition for mayors to visit each other's cities when new international routes are established.
The airline is set to fly four flights to Reykjavik weekly through the fall.
Reykjavik Mayor Dagur Eggertsson spent two days touring Philadelphia.
He had said his city is becoming a major hub to layover for travelers on the way to Europe.
Kenney was scheduled to return Saturday.