Passengers boarding a Friday night United Airlines flight in Chicago expected to be in London in time for breakfast, but instead spent almost 24 hours at a military barracks in Canada.
United Airlines flight 958 was en-route from Chicago to London Friday night when it was diverted to Goose Bay, Canada, a town in Newfoundland, due to maintenance issue. The plane landed safely around 11:30 p.m. Friday.
While the flight crew spent the night in a hotel, the approximately 200 passengers slept in four, military-style barracks.
A United Airlines spokesperson said in a statement: “The flight landed safely after diverting to Goose Bay, Canada, last night due to a maintenance issue. Customers were accommodated overnight and provided meals. We are flying the customers to Newark where they will be accommodated tonight on another aircraft to London.
We apologize to our customers for this disruption to their travel plans and will be refunding their tickets to London. Hotel space was not available, so we accommodated our customers at a local military base and provided meals.”
At 9:50 p.m. Saturday — almost 24 hours after landing in Canada — the passengers were flown to Newark airport, where they went through immigration and customs again before boarding another flight to London.
The passengers arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport approximately 33 hours late.
Once at Heathrow, some passengers told ABC News they were well looked after. Some passengers said the biggest problem was they were kept guessing about when and where they would be flown to.
One passenger said they were offered $500 in E-coupons for United as compensation.
When asked about the crew sleeping at a hotel, one passenger said, “We would expect that.”