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United Airlines strands passengers at army barracks for more than 20 hours

Passengers on a United flight are furious after being left at a military base overnight with no staff or answers.

What would you do if your scheduled flight was diverted to a different country and with nontraditional accommodations? Passengers aboard a recent United Airlines flight weren’t too happy after a 48-hour nightmare that involved an unexpected layover and army barracks.

“Once we landed, there was nobody at all from United Airlines to be seen anywhere,” a passenger tells NBC News.

CNN recalls events leading up to the flight making an unexpected detour to a Canadian base in Goose Bay, Newfoundland. “The captain came on and basically just said there were some lights on in the cockpit and that there was some vibrations that passengers in the back of the plane were feeling,” said Lois Harper, a passenger on the flight. “That was pretty much the only information they shared with us.”

The airline cites a mechanical issue.

Scheduled to depart from Chicago to London, United 958 abruptly changed course almost halfway into the flight. Customers who thought they would arrive at their destination as scheduled were very surprised when they landed at a Canadian military base. After waiting on the plane for answers, the flight’s 176 passengers were finally informed they had to stay in the barracks overnight. “While there was a bed, there were no blankets… and there was no heating in the particular barracks building I was assigned to,” reveals Harper.

To make matters worse, a CNN meteorologist reveals their layover occurred on one of the coldest days of the month. Unable to access checked baggage, some passengers weren’t ready to battle the elements.

The biggest complaint, however, didn’t come from a lack of towels and desirable food but the absence of the entire flight crew. “No United representative ever reached out to anybody — no phone calls, no human beings, nothing,” tells passenger Lisa Wan. “Nobody had any idea what was going on.”
Needless to say, folks weren’t too happy with the thought of the flight crew enjoying a warm hotel while others had to make do in the barracks.
After spending over 20 hours on the military base, United passengers finally reached their destination Saturday night after being flown to Newark earlier that day. United Airlines has promised refunds to the passengers.

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