United Airlines flight diverted to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Twitter erupts
Airline says maintenance issues caused diversion and says passengers will receive refund
A United Airlines flight from Chicago to London was diverted to Goose Bay Airport in Labrador on Friday night because of maintenance issues.
The Boeing 767 was carrying 176 passengers and 11 crew members.
The passengers were given accommodation and meals at a local military base because hotel space was unavailable in the town, according to a statement from United Airlines.
Passengers were flown to Newark, N.J., on Saturday night and were then put on a connecting flight to London, which finally arrived at its destination around 2:30 p.m. local time Sunday.
"We apologize to our customers for the disruption, and we recognize this was a considerable inconvenience, so we will be refunding their tickets to London and providing additional compensation," United Airlines spokeswoman Mary Ryan said in an email to CBC News.
The airline gave no information about the nature of the problems that caused the diversion.
Passengers stranded in Happy Valley-Goose Bay took to social media to share their frustrations with the U.S. airline — and their bleak accommodations.
<a href="https://twitter.com/united">@united</a> worst customer service ever. Stuck at military barracks. No contact from United since 3am this morning <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/disgusting?src=hash">#disgusting</a>—@salliecoventry
<a href="https://twitter.com/united">@united</a> I just want to know when my son will get out of goose bay, and home to me. Shouldn't be this hard. <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCWorld">@BBCWorld</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UA958?src=hash">#UA958</a>—@jotaylah
Life in goose bay army base, living the dream thanks united airlines <a href="https://twitter.com/UnitedAirlines">@unitedairlines</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/epic?src=hash">#epic</a> fail <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/unitedsuck?src=hash">#unitedsuck</a> <a href="http://t.co/qw4HTyMpdO">pic.twitter.com/qw4HTyMpdO</a>—@EricaKeogan
Some questioned why the flight crew was given accommodations at a local hotel while passengers had to spend the night at a military base.
<a href="https://twitter.com/united">@united</a> #958 Stuck in Goose Bay. No United employees visible. What's the latest update on departure to London?—@KPowellEPS
<a href="https://twitter.com/united">@united</a> crew arrived, looking fresh from their comfy night in a hotel <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/outrageous?src=hash">#outrageous</a> <a href="http://t.co/mhnmRwzdHr">pic.twitter.com/mhnmRwzdHr</a>—@salliecoventry
<a href="https://twitter.com/SurrogateNerd">@SurrogateNerd</a> The crew must rest in order to continue the flight. You can rest on board the aircraft knowing that they are in charge. ^CA—@united
One United Airlines passenger tweeted a photo of houses that were buried in snow while another commented on the freezing temperatures.
Meanwhile, some locals hit back on social media, alleging Happy Valley-Goose Bay had been misrepresented.
<a href="https://twitter.com/SurrogateNerd">@SurrogateNerd</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/united">@united</a> that's not Goose Bay! I'm sorry what happened but stop misleading. GooseBay is a lovely community..my home—@Benno_Bro
<a href="https://twitter.com/SurrogateNerd">@SurrogateNerd</a> one picture you posted isn't even goose bay lol. And last it wasn't near freezing Friday night lol—@ClaraFl29488222
Yo, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/america?src=hash">#america</a>. These <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/labrador?src=hash">#labrador</a> barracks housed ur people on 9/11. You're welcome. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/United?src=hash">#United</a> stranded" <a href="http://t.co/DqR9ECNZY6">http://t.co/DqR9ECNZY6</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cdnpoli?src=hash">#cdnpoli</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nlpoli?src=hash">#nlpoli</a>—@OurLabrador