Passengers of a Southwest Airlines 737 jet bound from Chicago to the Branson (Mo.) Airport Sunday were a bit inconvenienced upon landing.
Yes, the flight was late arriving to its intended destination…because it landed at the wrong airport.
Instead of touching down at Branson Airport, BKG, the pilot mistakenly landed at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport, or Taney County Airport, which has a shorter runway, according to WXIA-TV in Atlanta.
It’s about eight miles north of the larger Branson Airport in Hollister, Mo., USA Today reported.
Here’s a clip via KTTS-FM in Springfield, Mo., taken by passenger Abbey Benesch from inside the cabin:
Southwest released the following statement:
The Southwest Airlines Pilot in command of flight #4013 safely landed at (PLK) Taney County airport this evening. The Boeing 737-700 carried 124 Customers and a crew of five and was operating as a scheduled flight from Chicago Midway to Branson.
Our ground crew from the Branson airport has arrived at the airport to take care of our Customers and their baggage. The landing was uneventful, and all Customers and Crew are safe.
Schieffer tweeted, however, that the landing was “absolutely not uneventful. The Southwest statement saying so is incorrect; we braked very, very hard.”
— Scott Schieffer (@ScottDallasTX) January 13, 2014
Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins told USA Today he had no explanation for why the jet landed at the county-owned airport, which primarily sees charter, corporate and general aviation flights.
“It didn’t sound like a typical plane,” Jeff Engel, a Branson teacher who lives less than a mile from the Taney airport, told USA Today, adding that the plane sounded louder than what he was accustomed to hearing there.
“I wasn’t concerned about any danger. My dog perked up and I thought it was unusual,” he added to USA Today. “Now it’s kind of scary. You don’t know what’s going on.”
This story has been updated.