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United Airlines Flight Canceled After Taxiing for 8.5 Hours

United Airlines Flight Canceled After Taxiing for 8.5 Hours

BY BRANTSEN GILL 08/27/2022 AGO 26 COMMENTS

On August 22, 2022, at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), a United Airlines Boeing 737-900ER taxied for 8.5 hours until the flight was cancelled—running out of fuel in the process. For more than eight hours the aircraft sat on the ramp awaiting its turn to depart. The flight, from Newark to Denver (DEN), was about to begin its journey when inclement weather—consisting of thunderstorms and lightning—caused delays. After three hours of waiting on the tarmac to take off, the aircraft returned to the gate for its first time. Passengers were supposedly told, “if you really need to go to the bathroom or stretch your legs, go ahead, but we really prefer you don’t, and we won’t hesitate to leave you behind." 


 

After the brief wait, the aircraft returned to the tarmac in a second attempt to take-off, which proved unsuccessful. For this second takeoff attempt, the aircraft waited on the tarmac for another three hours until it didn't have enough fuel to make it to Denver should it have taken off. This was due to a new flight plan to avoid weather given to the pilots by ATC and the exhaustive fuel burned while taxiing. As passengers stretched their legs during the second visit back to the gate they were notified via the United App that their flight had been canceled. Since the crew were unaware of this notification they decided to re-board the 737 and taxi.

 

A United Airlines flight ran out of fuel after taxiing for 8.5 hours. Photo: Jack Jarzynka

 

Ultimately, after 2.5 more hours of taxiing—8.5 hours of taxiing in total—the on-board crew clocked out and the flight returned to the gate to be anulled. In addition to the extensive delay, it took another half hour to disembark the aircraft. Passengers were only given "a cup of water and a tiny packet of those biscoff cookies" during the entire 8.5 hour event. It was also reported that the pilots were "out of apologies." Hiroko Tabuchi, a New York Times Reporter who was on the flight, had this to say about the incident: "You can’t make this up.. my United flight out of Newark taxied on the tarmac for more than 6 hours, and now **no longer has enough fuel** to get to Denver — so we are taxiing back to the terminal." 

 

 

The Federal Aviation Administration said the average delay time for all U.S. flights on that same Monday was 37 minutes, with 92% caused by weather, 5% due to volume, and 3% linked to staffing issues. While these events are destined to happen as part of the aviation industry, some airlines handle these situations differently and provide differing levels of quality in reimbursements. 

Brantsen Gill
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Comments (26)

Ed REALLY!!??? This is beyond stupid
152d ago • Reply
Khalid Both the crew and the ground /tower controllers did not do a good jop.Many years ago in JFK same bad weather ground controller told us that we are 73 on the que and will take around three hours,where it took very close to that.no need to start your engines and off the gate and wait till you consume it.
149d ago • Reply
Greg Adams Click bait. The title leads you to believe they were on the tarmac for the whole time. They had the choice to get off twice. Ridiculous article.
148d ago • Reply
James Agreed. Plus they didn't run out of fuel after 8 hours like the article claims. They refueled at the 6 hour mark, then the crew timed out - which is also very different from clocking out. Federal regs vs. deciding to call it a day
Brantsen Gill (author) how is it clickbait? I did not specify they taxied for 8.5 hours nonstop, they did taxi for a total of 8.5 hours not including the stops. My job is to present a fair and non biased article to the viewers. The quote from the reporter was not stated as facts but purely as a quote from a single individual. Thank you.
James Brantsen, your caption for one of the photos says “ A United Airlines flight ran out of fuel after taxiing for 8.5 hours.” It is not in quotes and is patently false.
Larry The flight taxied for 8.5 hours. Whether it was 8.5 hours in total or nonstop was not specified. I don't see an issue here; it's just an issue with interpretation.
Mr Manager There is no tarmac
148d ago • Reply
Jetjock64 There's nothing wrong with the ues of "tarmac" to denote any airport surface where you could find a plane. It's in all the dictionaries.
148d ago • Reply
Gm This reporter did not represent the facts. She did not check with FAA or United. Tired of media not getting it right. Maybe thus reporter needs to go back school
148d ago • Reply
Chris The truth doesn't sell papers.
Gm This reporter did not represent the facts. She did not check with FAA or United. Tired of media not getting it right. Maybe thus reporter needs to go back school
148d ago • Reply
Lynn Pilcher The modern journalist does not want to confuse the readers with facts, this is confusing for them. Let's tell them a story instead,
148d ago • Reply
Larry P Click bait & horrible reporting by Bransten Gill! I’m glad to see other readers saw through the BS of this headline.
147d ago • Reply
Brantsen Gill (author) how is it clickbait? I did not specify they taxied for 8.5 hours nonstop, they did taxi for a total of 8.5 hours not including the stops. My job is to present a fair and non biased article to the viewers. The quote from the reporter was not stated as facts but purely as a quote from a single individual. Thank you.
Brantsen Gill (author) James. This was not patently false or any form of false, the aircraft did run out of fuel, it did not have enough fuel to safely make it to Denver. The 737 also did taxi for 8.5 hours, I never specified wether those 8.5 hours was nonstop in fact in the article I mentioned the stops back at the gate. As Larry said, it is a matter of interpretation. Thank you for your feedback, however this article was factual and true. Have a wonderful day and I hope you enjoy the rest of my articles!
146d ago • Reply
James you specifically said it ran out of fuel *after* taxing for 8.5 hours. That's not true at all: they refueled around 6 hours, and the crew timed out after 8.5 hours. Saying they "ran out of fuel after 8.5 hours" would indicate that at the end of their 8.5 hour taxi is when they needed fuel, not earlier in the ordeal. You can see the difference, right?
Brantsen Gill (author) James. Where was it specified they refueled after 6 hours? I would like to see it. As far as the facts I have found it was not stated. If aeroxplorer is wrong than many other articles are wrong aswell. This article was published shortly after the incident so the information of a possible refueling may not have been released until later on or the source you heard that from is wrong.
146d ago • Reply
JJ "For this second takeoff attempt, the aircraft waited on the tarmac for another three hours until it didn't have enough fuel to make it to Denver should it have taken off." Are you trying to say that this doesn't imply that they refueled before the third attempt?
Michael Pickens Rumor is that both pilots had been Jabbed + 3 boosters; the Graphene had crystallized to the point they both were blind & their brains were solid as a rock - the plane was on auto-taxi.
146d ago • Reply
J Why is everyone so aggravated with the writer of the story? Just because the modern American reads only the headlines, it doesn't mean that the title can tell the whole story. You have to read the article to get the details. There is nothing wrong with this story or the article. I'm willing to bet the negative comments are from airline employees and executives. This was a well written article.
145d ago • Reply
Brantsen Gill (author) thank you! The article is very clear that the plane didn't taxi for 8.5hrs nonstop. You just have to read to find that out. Absolutely correct!
Fernando Canto It's very telling that some people are more upset by the wording of this article than by what the passengers of the flight went through.
144d ago • Reply
Brantsen Gill (author) James, this article was published rather quickly after the incident occurred. With that being said, information doesn't always get released on time so the information about the aircraft refueling may not have been released at the time this article was written. Otherwise I may have missed that. I never found out about that until recently. Days after the article was written. Just relax and enjoy the article man, everyone makes mistakes. No need to be so pressed over it.
144d ago • Reply
Andrew Happened to me on a Delta flight from Newark to New Orleans recently. Sat on the tarmac for 7 hours. All we got was 2 cups of water. No food as the crew said we had to save them for the flight LOL.
144d ago • Reply
Fred The article is difficult to read. Since they didn't "run out of fuel", the remainder of the poorly-written article is suspect also. Mr. Gill, if you're gonna use that arcane word, tarmac, please advise us of where that 'tarmac' is. Is the gate surfaced with tarmac? How about the taxiways & aprons? Tarmac is a material & I don't care what 'your' dictionary says. Concrete is the most widely used material where large airplanes roll. Aviation is a very exacting profession, so get used to specific definitions for aviation terms. Good luck with your continued success, Fred
143d ago • Reply

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