17 Jul 2012
Passengers travelling with United Airlines from Shanghai, China headed back to the US suffered three flight cancellations, resulting in a lengthy 72-hour delay.
225 passengers booked to travel aboard United Airlines Flight 87 from Shanghai to Newark, New Jersey were scheduled to depart last Wednesday but did not arrive home until Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
The first two flights were cancelled due to maintenance and mechanical repairs.
A third flight on Friday was also scrapped after the flight crew reported they had exceeded their maximum flight-time restrictions.
Passenger tensions at Shanghai Airport grew with the news of each new delay and a mini-revolt eventually erupted; resulting in passengers fighting counter attendants and blocking gates for other boarding flights.
“You get the run-around by these airlines. You're so powerless, just so humiliated and frustrated and you get so upset,” passenger Steve Borowka said.
“That is the only way we're going to get out of here. ... My crew, the other crew, we want to go as much as you do,” a United Airlines pilot told passengers.
“I can tell you the alternative is, if we don't have cooperation boarding here, these planes may leave empty.”
Passenger’s luggage was dumped off carousels and was reportedly inaccessible to its owners.
After finally arriving in Newark on Saturday passengers were informed United Airlines would cover any expenses suffered during the extensive delay, provide a full refund and give passengers $1000 worth of future flight credit.
The original flight was scheduled to take just 13 hours.