BREAKING NEWS One dead after Magalia house fire, Cal Fire says Full Story

Passengers stuck on United flight in frigid cold for more than 14 hours

Passengers aboard a United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Hong Kong were left stuck on the ground for more than 14 hours in frigid weather with a dwindling supply of food.

Posted: Jan 21, 2019 5:11 AM


Passengers aboard a United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Hong Kong were left stuck on the ground for more than 14 hours in frigid weather with a dwindling supply of food.

The nightmarish incident began when the 3:05 p.m. flight was diverted to the Goose Bay Airport in Newfoundland, Canada, due to a medical emergency. The plane landed there at 9:31 p.m. AST, and medical personnel met the aircraft and a passenger was taken to a local hospital.

But as the flight was set to take off again, it experienced a mechanical issue.

That's when the waiting began.

Passengers were not allowed to leave the airplane because the Goose Bay Airport did not have a customs officer on duty during the overnight hours. Saturday bled into Sunday, and still the flight remained grounded.

Sonjay Dutt, a passenger on the plane, said on Twitter that the plane's door had broken and that they were stuck on board as the weather dipped to negative-20 degrees outside. Unable to leave for hours upon hours, he began tweeting at United for help, saying that they were running low on food.

On Sunday morning, Goose Bay officials brought on donuts and coffee from Tim Hortons, the classic Canadian fast food restaurant.

United had food delivered to the passengers and "the crew is doing everything possible to assist customers," a United spokesperson said.

Finally, after more than 14 hours, Dutt was able to get off the plane with the rest of the passengers.

"Its been a long long long long day," he tweeted.

Lloyd Slade, another passenger on the plane, said he was "just very tired, at this point" on Sunday. "Cabin/flight crew have been excellent and very helpful (United HQ/dispatch, not so much.)"

An alternative aircraft containing meals for the passengers was flown to Goose Bay to transport customers back to Newark.

"We apologize to our customers and our crew is doing everything possible to assist them during the delay," the company said.

Passenger Steven Lau thanked those who brought Tim Hortons on board.

"(I) feel partly relieved to be on a new plane, but the crew is still loading bags and preparing the aircraft, so not certain when we'll actually take off," he said. "It's nearing 24 hours since we originally took off from Newark, so we're all feeling restless and frustrated. I'm just ready to be off the plane and finished with this experience."

Lau said some passengers on the flight had decided to scrap their trips entirely in the wake of the overnight stay on the tarmac. He is planning to wait to see how United can get him there ASAP, he said.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1185576

Reported Deaths: 19089
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles3877937604
San Bernardino902221129
Riverside857741437
San Diego76359996
Orange750951577
Kern40337448
Fresno37724481
Sacramento35854566
Santa Clara32985476
Alameda28857505
San Joaquin25738502
Contra Costa23571261
Stanislaus21460424
Tulare20649308
Ventura19058175
Imperial15862356
San Francisco15156160
Monterey14750116
San Mateo13715170
Sonoma11922157
Merced11537179
Santa Barbara11277135
Kings1047587
Solano1003681
Marin7628129
Placer635468
Madera604785
San Luis Obispo596435
Shasta471847
Yolo462675
Santa Cruz426928
Butte389459
Sutter314415
Napa298817
El Dorado22174
Yuba198110
San Benito183716
Lassen17733
Tehama161225
Mendocino148522
Nevada11849
Tuolumne9088
Glenn8928
Lake89019
Humboldt8509
Colusa6946
Siskiyou6242
Mono5273
Amador52016
Calaveras47822
Del Norte3131
Inyo29016
Plumas2050
Trinity1390
Mariposa1282
Modoc1250
Alpine470
Sierra190
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 37°
Oroville
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 42°
Paradise
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 37°
Chester
Clear
18° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 18°
Red Bluff
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 31°
Willows
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 37°
The final Friday of November was a beautiful one for northern California with plentiful sunshine, warmer than average temperatures and weaker wind. We can expect plenty of sunshine and continued mild weather this weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events