A flight that was travelling from San Francisco to Hong Kong had to turn around and head back to the United States because of a shortage of fuel. The United Airlines flight, known as UA Flight 869, was delayed over a day.
The flight left San Francisco at 8:37pm local time on Saturday. However, it had to turn around once it reached the Gulf of Alaska. At 12:57am in San Francisco, four hours and twenty minutes after it had departed, the plane was right back to where it had started.
The plane left the airport again at 3:08pm on Sunday. It arrived in Hong Kong at a local time of 8:36pm, more than a day after the time that it was supposed to arrive.
Hundreds of passengers had to suffer through the ordeal. Many fliers reportedly transferred to a different flight. Thankfully, nobody was injured in the process.
United Airlines has not commented on the incident. The plane was reportedly a Boeing aircraft.
According to passenger Marcelo Figueroa, the pilots informed passengers that there was a fuel problem with the aircraft.
Figueroa said, “Apparently the plane was using more fuel than usual and they were not sure if we were going to make it all the way to Hong Kong, so they decided to go back."
Pictures posted on Twitter showed that passengers were only provided with a packet of Oreo cookies and a $20 food voucher to help get them through the lengthy delay. The passengers were not provided with a hotel.
Some of the passengers were in the United States on travel visas, and they were going to be in the United States illegally if they did not return to China soon.
Meanwhile, airplane experts find it particularly confusing that a plane was going to run out of fuel just a few hours into a 14 hour long flight. Some suspect that there might have been a fuel leak or problems with the fuel detection system.