Passengers on board United Airlines flight UA179 were stuck on the plane for 14 hours after it was diverted to Goose Bay Canada. The plane was en-route from Newark to Hong Kong when it was diverted due to a medical emergency of a passenger on board. The plane made a sharp turn back to North America so the passenger could be transported to hospital. The closest place to land was at Goose Bay airport in Newfoundland, Canada.
After transporting the man off the plane to receive medical help, the crew noticed there was a problem with one of the aircraft's doors. For safety reasons the plane had to remain at the airport until the issue with the door could be resolved.
Unfortunately United Airlines does not operate flights to Goose Bay so the plane would have to wait until mechanics could be sent to the airport to repair the door. Because a customs official was not available, the passengers were not allowed to disembark the plane. That meant the passengers would have to wait until the aircraft door was fixed or a customs agent arrived.
It was reported by CNN that the passengers ended up being trapped on the plane for 14 hours.
Passengers Trapped For 14 Hours Brought Timmies
The passengers were forced to spend the night on board the plane while they waited for a replacement plane to be flown in. The frigid night dropped to -21C but passengers were kept warm by keeping the jet engine running as it had a large amount of fuel to accommodate the long flight to Hong Kong.
By morning the plane had run out of food and that is when the famous Canadian doughnut shop Tim Horton's came to the rescue.
Tim Horton's staff delivered fresh hot coffee and enough doughnuts for all passengers and crew on board.
The replacement aircraft arrived in Goose Bay at 11:51 am. All passengers were then transferred to the replacement airplane that finally took off at 3:53 pm which is 14 hours they first arrived in Goose Bay. The replacement plane flight UA8179 arrived back in Newark just before 6 pm.
Following the diversion many passengers opted to not continue on to Hong Kong while others were found replacement flights on United and Star Alliance partners.