On August 22nd, a United Airlines flight scheduled from Newark Airport was forced to refuel after taxiing for more than six hours! The flight to Denver, which had been delayed due to poor weather, was eventually canceled after the crew exceeded their maximum hours. Let’s look at this incident
On Monday August 22nd, United Airlines flight 1910 from Newark Liberty International Airport to Denver International Airport suffered a series of mishaps that led to passengers spending more than eight hours in a Boeing 737, on the apron. The flight, which was scheduled to depart at 15:10 local time, initially couldn’t take off for almost three hours due to poor weather. As per regulations, which allow a maximum of three hours on the apron at a time, the aircraft momentarily returned to the gate before taxiing again for another three hours.
However, with the flight still unable to depart, the plane was forced to return to the terminal as it no longer had enough fuel to complete the journey to Denver. Hiroko Tabuchi, a reporter for The New York Times, was onboard the flight and sent out a series of tweets detailing her experience. According to media sources, the Captain announced that air traffic control had plotted a longer route to Denver to avoid adverse weather conditions, which, together with the hours of taxiing, forced the aircraft to refuel. While the aircraft, a Boeing 737-900ER, was refueling, the disembarked passengers received a notification on the United app stating that their flight had been canceled, causing confusion for the weary travelers.
However, airport staff nonetheless asked passengers to board the plane again and the flight remained on the apron for another two hours. Unfortunately, by this point, United crew members were unable to complete the journey as they would have exceeded their maximum allocated hours. This, in turn, caused the flight to be canceled.
According to The Independent, passengers claimed that they were only given a cup of water and a packet of biscuits during the entire ordeal. So what exactly was the weather causing this lengthy delay? Well, lightning and thunderstorms were the initial reason behind the delay of flight UA1910. The flight to Denver wasn’t the only service affected, as scores of other flights from Newark were also impacted.
Interestingly, however, flight data from FlightRadar24.com shows that United flight UA1690 from Newark to Denver scheduled after flight 1910 managed to depart, while the earlier flight was still on the ground. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated that the average delay time across the US on August 22nd was 37 minutes, of which 92% was caused by adverse weather.
What do you think of this incident? And, considering the fact that other flights managed to depart, could miscommunication or mismanagement have been a reason for an extended delay? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment.