United Airlines passengers were stuck on a Canadian tarmac for over 16 hours overnight Saturday and into early Sunday morning after an emergency medical landing and mechanical problems.
The flight was United 179 which took off from Newark, New Jersey bound for Hong Kong with 250 passengers on board.
During the early stages of the flight, a passenger suffered a medical emergency and the plane landed in Goose Bay airport in Newfoundland on the Canadian east coast. Paramedics arrived and took him to a local hospital.
However, afterwards the plane was able to take off because a door was frozen in the -22 degree temperature. The plane had landed in the middle of the night and there was no customs officer on duty.
Passengers were forced to remain on board for over 16 hours and the conditions were brutal with minimal heating. The plane also ran out of food after ten hours.
A pilot was so frustrated with the situation that he gave out the United CEO’s email address for passengers to voice their complaints.
Local officials delivered passengers coffee and donuts from a Tim Hortons restaurant to try and appease people’s hunger.
One passenger tweeted how the conditions were and how everyone’s mood was deteriorating.
Might not make it Macau on time for EWE. A medical emergency rerouted my plane. Landing in Goose Bay, Canada, where it’s -20. A door broke, can’t fix and awaiting rescue for the last 10 hours as I sit in this place on a runway in middle of nothing Canada. We need help @united— SONJAY (@sonjaydutterson) January 20, 2019
A relief crew was eventually flown in and the passengers returned to Newark on Sunday morning, where they had left the day before.
It is unclear how United eventually got the passengers to their final destination.