United Fliers End Up in Military Barracks, Unhappily

They were stuck in Newfoundland for 22 hours
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2015 12:33 AM CDT
US-to-UK Passengers End Up in Canadian Military Barracks
"Life in Goose Bay," tweeted one passenger.   (Twitter)

United Airlines passengers flying from Chicago to London over the weekend arrived more than a day late after an unscheduled—and apparently uncomfortable—stop at a Canadian military base. After what the airline describes as a "maintenance issue" surfaced, the flight was diverted to Newfoundland's Goose Bay base, where passengers were put up overnight in military barracks while the 11 crew members spent the night in a hotel, reports the National Post. After 22 hours at the base, the 176 passengers were flown to Newark and then to London, where they arrived around 48 hours after their journey from Chicago began. The airline says no hotel space was available and passengers will receive full refunds and extra compensation.

Outraged passengers complained about a lack of communication from the airline, and a lack of heating in the barracks. "Once we landed, there was nobody at all from United Airlines to be seen anywhere," one passenger tells NBC News. "No United representative ever reached out to anybody—no phone calls, no human beings, nothing. Nobody had any idea what was going on." The CBC reports that on social media, some Goose Bay locals took exception to passengers' depiction of the area as a frozen wasteland and noted that the same barracks were used to put up Americans stranded by the closure of US airspace on 9/11. (A Canadian singer says she was kicked off a United flight because her toddler made staff feel "unsafe.")

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