United Airlines is in the news for a bizarre tarmac delay again, leaving passengers stranded on the taxiways of Newark Airport for over six hours before the aircraft finally ran out of fuel.
Passengers were then brought back to the gate, refueled and eventually left the gate yet again before the flight was finally canceled before take-off due to the crew exceeding their allowed duty time.
The entire ordeal took over nine hours for a simple domestic flight that under normal circumstances takes a little over four hours in the air.
As reported by The Independent and other media outlets, passengers were understandingly very frustrated by the end of their day which left them at the same place where they started.
A United Airlines flight due to journey from Newark to Denver taxied for so long on a New York runway, it was forced to refuel.
The plane stayed on the runway for more than six hours, before returning to the terminal as it “no longer had enough fuel for the whole trip”, a United spokesperson told The Independent.
The flight was initially unable to take-off as planned due to poor weather conditions.
New York Times reporter Hiroko Tabuchi shared her experience of the distrastrous flight, which was eventually cancelled, on social media.
After the lengthy delay on the tarmac, passengers were told to disembark the plane when it returned to the gate so that it could be refueled before reboarding, Ms Tabuchi reported.
However, once they had deplaned, passengers received an alert on the United app notifying them that the flight had been canceled – but were then told by staff at Newark to reboard.
Cabin crew and pilots were left just as confused as passengers when Ms Tabuchi showed them the alert she had received from the airline, she claimed.
Despite the mixed messages, passengers were finally seated on the plane and ready for takeoff once again.
“Oh my god, after 8.5 hours on the tarmac at Newark, and disembarking/reembarking/refueling the plane, the flight is a no-go,” tweeted Ms Tabuchi.
“We are heading back to the gate a final time. This time, it’s the crew – they’ve clocked out. ‘I’ve run out of apologies,’ the pilot just told us.”
Passengers were reportedly given only a cup of water and a “tiny packet of those Biscoff cookies” throughout the eight and a half hour delay.
Ms Tabuchi recalls it took another half an hour to get to the gate and disembark again, with passengers sat on the aircraft, not going anywhere, for a total of nine hours, “burning fuel the whole time”.
She eventually flew out to Denver from Philadelphia the following morning, after taking an Amtrak train to the city. …
This experience must have been downright awful. It reminds me of a situation I experienced with United in April, flying from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. A 50-minute flight and a 5-hour delay. The flight was delayed and delayed again in the typical United salami tactic until it finally got canceled.
Thankfully I got booked myself on an alternate connection as soon as they allowed passengers to leave the plane (never a good sign) through the United Club at LAS. All those who stayed on the original flight couldn’t get to LAX until much later that night as all flights were full.
This is the flight in question for the EWR-DEN on August 22:
I’d love to know more about the movements of this flight. It was supposed to leave at 8:36pm so let’s say even with the minimum delay of six hours mentioned here, this would mean the plane would have been on the tarmac until 2 :30am. The article mentions 9 hours, so that would mean 5:30am. Sounds rather unbelievable to me. A domestic flight held all night on the tarmac rather than just canceling it outright?
Since United didn’t deny or correct the report, I give it the benefit of the doubt, but this sounds crazy and even more so if it happened just like this.
According to media reports, a United Airlines flight from Newark to Denver got trapped on the tarmac due to delays at Newark Airport and eventually ran out of fuel. The plane returned to the gate twice and eventually, the flight got canceled. between 6-9 hours which, according to the scheduled departure time, would mean that passengers were kept there all night long.
During the entire situation, United served no beverages or food to the passengers. Only a pack of cookies and a cup of water were distributed. Passengers should have left immediately after the plane returned to the gate the first time and demanded an end to this whole episode way before that. Who accepts waiting on the tarmac for several hours?