Passengers of United Airlines Finally Head to Shanghai After Two Day Delay
Two Boeing 777 planes were not fit for flying
ANCHORAGE - Delays are not a surprise for the frequent flyer, but passengers on board Boeing 777 United Airlines flight 857 from San Francisco to Shanghai weren't planning on spending two days in Anchorage.
What was the reason for the diversion to the Last Frontier? "We were in flight for a few hours and then people were just lining up by the doors of the toilet,” said passenger Chen Chang.
“The toilets in all three cabins, believe it or not, first class, business class and economy class were all broken."
A statement from United Airlines said the plane was diverted to Anchorage about three hours after takeoff due to several of the lavatories not working properly.
Passengers were offered hotel rooms, and meal vouchers and were asked to return the next day.
On Monday, the 262 passengers boarded their flight to Shanghai, this time on a different Boeing 777. Shortly after everyone was settled, they had to file off of the plane.
“The captain came on the speaker again and said we have a problem,” said Chang.
On that plane the aircraft's cooling fan was not working.
"This is not happening,” said a frustrated Chang, who is reliving his experience while standing outside of the Holiday Express in Anchorage.
“What are the odds of two Boeing 777 aircraft, both flown by United, failing for different reasons?” All passengers were then offered a second night in an Anchorage hotel.
Today, two days and three different aircrafts later, the angry passengers lined up at their gate.
"We're getting on,” said passenger Tom Tate. "Let's see if we take off. That's the big thing; hopefully third time's a charm.”
Many of the affected passengers are business people who were clearly frustrated at not being able to make their meetings and seminars.
Some passengers were traveling for leisure and were less concerned. "When you're flying you've always got problems and there's nothing you're going to be able to do about it," said Dave Sanderson.
Tammy Harmon, who is traveling with her 4-year-old daughter, is tired from the long delay and said she wishes there were more United Airlines staff on the ground in Anchorage to help.
She says not having access to their luggage was frustrating, but she made do with her carry-on.