A flight attendant informed passengers they couldn't land because of a storm, but there was only enough fuel for 45 minutes. It happened during a 16-hour nightmare flight from Los Angeles International to New York's JFK aboard a Virgin America jet.
David Martin, the CEO of social media website kontain.com, was seated next to Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba in first class.
"Myself and Carrie Ann were like, 'Oh my God, this is getting out of control,' " he tells INSIDE EDITION.
The plane circled JFK airport for over two hours before diverting to a small regional airport about 90 miles away. But once they landed they found their ordeal was only just beginning. They were trapped in the plane for five more hours.
The only food left on board was Pringles potato chips, so the crew decided to ration them. Each passenger was given just four Pringles and a half a glass of water.
Inaba had her own stash of cookies, which she generously shared with the other passengers.
As the hours passed tempers flared: "Police were brought on board because there were scuffles and physical stuff going on that everyone tried to break up and keep the plane calm," says Martin.
He tweeted about the ordeal as it unfolded. "Virgin America staff are losing it here. It's a circus," went one tweet.
Inaba tweeted too: "still a bit shook up about it but got on a plane and came home safely."
One flight attendant reportedly shouted at a passenger who asked a question, "You are really getting on my nerves! You NEED TO SHUT THE HELL UP!"
"It was extremely shocking for me to see how the crew were letting things get out of hand and snapping at the passengers," Martin tells INSIDE EDITION.
The beleaguered passengers were finally rescued by Virgin America's rival, jetBlue, which provided two buses and finally got the passengers off the plane.