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United Airlines plane diverted to Goose Bay leaves passengers stuck on board for 16 hours

A United Airlines plane diverted to Goose Bay Airport in Labrador Saturday night resulted in a lengthy stay on the tarmac, according to passengers who were stranded on the aircraft. ( Daha Fazlası...

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Todd Klaassen 2
I'm not a pilot but just enjoy aviation and have a question. Was it looking at the flight path and it looks like they looped around to Goose Bay. Guess we don't know the extent of the medical emergency but it seemed like KEF wouldn't have been much further to get to instead of looping around. Iceland has much better medical and airport facilities as well. Granted you don't plan on mechanical issues cause of the cold but the weather was actually much better. What is the procedure in deciding where to go? Thanks
Goose Bay and Gander get their fair share of diversions so it would seem that there should be some sort of plan for this. Question would be who pays for it and how. In the winter it is not likely that anyone will wander off anywhere (check the map, there is not anywhere anywhere close!). I hope the person who was hospitalized is recovering well.
Highflyer1950 2
Of course he is going to run the APU for several hours unless an alternate source for heat/ electricity is readily available plus there was plenty of fuel on board! Transporting pax from one plane to another via bus is exactly how security screened pax are handled. It just unfortunate that Goose Bay is not as widely used as Gander, but the real question is why were they on such an easterly route, winds maybe?
scott8733 1
I'd think the same. This is a 15-16 hour route, so there would have been an ample amount of food, supplies, lav capacity, and so on. Depending on the level of medical emergency, Goose was likely the best ditch point and if the Captain felt it was best to maintain control, then it is what it is. Nothing like this is ever ideal.

Good day to be holding a Polaris ticket vs. basic economy I suppose.
Mike Elrod 1
I fly this route a lot. Winter is almost always east over Norway and down across Russia/China. Back Japan/Alaska/Canada.
highflyer...I am speaking from my experience working at a major airline..possibly you have experience/knowledge that i do not,but I find it a little rude to "correct" someone,unless they are (as people say) totally out in left field!..have a good day...
Highflyer1950 3
Well Mary, sorry if I offended you, thatbwas not the intention, but since I have resided in the left seat for over 30 years I can tell you with authority on how to handle not just 250 but 362 pax who end up somewhere they least expect and in another country! That experience dictates that you maintain heat or cold (environmental) when necessary to keep your pax safe and with lots of water, food and enough fuel to run the APU for a couple of days, and in one place and under your control unless the situation changes. Last time I checked, United did not staff Goose Bay so the Captain bears the responsibility unless otherwise directed by CP or D of Flt Ops.

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Ric Wernicke 3
I was stuck on a 74 in Korea once at an alternate airport because of wx. We could not get off because the tallest set of steps they had came up about 6 feet short of the cabin door. They did pass up food and drink, and fuel to run the APU as ground power for the 74 was not available. We were there 8 hours. Northwest made it as comfortable as possible. No one was cold or hungry.

Canadians are known for their great hospitality, so it baffles me why the terminal doors were not open for people who were there because of a medical emergency. If the only one there is a watchman and his dog, they should be empowered to make a humanitarian decision to care for visitors.
Some hospitality at Goose, compared to Gander during the 9/11 diversion. So they let 250 pax sit on the tarmac for 16 hours in sub zero conditions.I know Goose has quarters with heat and places to eat etc. Obviously no leadership at Goose. Where was the Captain? He for one failed his charge. No customs officials available? SO WHAT?
dpadhye 1
Exactly. In my mind, the biggest culprit in this whole nightmare is Goose Bay airport. Had they let these pax off the plane onto the terminal building, their life would have been far less miserable. Why the heck they need customs officials for letting the pax onto the terminal? Who on this plane had some hidden agenda of sneaking out of the terminal carrying some contraband stuff avoiding customs? Who on this plane had even imagined being in Goose Ba y for god's sake? Are Goose Bay officials that stupid or are they just mean? The only blame that United gets in this case, if at all, is for the malfunctioning door that prevented take off. I mean, what if the rescue plane also had problem taking off due to some mechanical problem due to cold? Then what? They can't have such failures due to cold which is to be expected in this season. Another thing I couldn't understand is why United flew these pax back to EWR instead of continuing their original journey to Hong Kong?
It really is easier to get into Cuba than it is to get in to Canada.

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I have seen the way Canadian citizens are handled. I've been there about 15 times total, 6 times in the last 3 years.
Cansojr -2
Why have people voted negatively when the truth is revealed. Ah the truth hurts sometimes with citizens who are cranially deficient.
dmanuel 1
I was under the impression that Customs is not required to present in order for the passengers to leave the aircraft. I believe that passengers can deplane and be sequestered in the terminal (not allowed to wonder about or leave) and be returned to the aircraft without violating any immigration (Customs regulations). Then Canadian regulations may be different.
Highflyer1950 1
There’s no way any Captain is going let a bunch of passengers wander around the terminal aimlessly without proper security unless health or safety might be compromised. 250 is hardly a full plane and the APU can keep it at a balmy 75. I agree with Matt’s assessment and even the best airport chairs pale in comparison to the 777’s seats and you keep control.
jetserf 1
I agree that it’s best to keep the passengers on board but I think that 777 is authorized only up to 267 pax.
Highflyer1950 0
314 to 396 actually
jetserf 1
According to my boarding totals for a 777 on that route the capacity is 267, authorized to 290.
matt jensen -2
What's the complaint - they were warm, had access to lavs, had food - oh yeah - they had to return to EWR
btweston 2
Come to think of it, prison sounds pretty awesome.
diversions and severe weather complications are nothing new to the airline industry..neither is having passengers remain onboard an aircraft that is not at a gate..united did bring in another airplane (albeit several hours later)to at least get these passengers back to ewr..having to spend 8-14 hours sitting on board is definitely not a pleasant experience..i am not quite sure of Canadian customs regulations, but in the u.s.,if passengers on an international flight gets off for any reason,they must go through the check in procedure again with passports and a new boarding pass..what is not clear is did these people just get off the one aircraft and go right to another parked nearby by walking or boarding a bus..obviously they did not go into any terminal may very well have been chilly or cold on the aircraft, as no captain is going to keep the apu running for several hours...
btweston 0
I read an article that said 14 hours, and in the same article they referenced a passenger who tweeted 12+ hours. But still.


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