United Airlines passengers stuck on tarmac for 16 hours in sub-zero weather


FILE – In this March 15, 2017, file photo, United Airlines jets sit on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport in New York. A dog died on a United Airlines plane after a flight attendant ordered its owner to put the animal in the plane’s overhead bin. United said Tuesday, March 13, 2018, that it took […]

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.

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.

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