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United Flight Makes U-Turn Over Pacific

A transpacific United flight was forced to make an emergency landing after the flight crew became concerned that there wouldn’t be enough fuel to complete the trip.

United Airlines Flight 869 from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) was forced to turn around late Saturday night when it became clear there might not be enough fuel to complete the journey. Bay Area ABC affiliate KGO-TV reports that nearly four hours after takeoff, UA 869 returned to SFO amid concerns that the 747-400 was using too much fuel and would run out over the Pacific if the flight were to continue.

“There was a fuel problem,” said passenger Marcelo Figuroa, relaying what the pilot told them. “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.”

Emergency workers and ground crews were waiting to inspect the aircraft for a potential fuel leak when it touched down safely at SFO around 3 a.m. Sunday. Airline officials say they are investigating the cause of the incident and could not say whether the fuel discrepancy was caused by a mechanical failure or an error in calculations.

A United representative told KGO-TV the carrier “made every effort to accommodate passengers” and stranded flyers were rebooked on a Sunday night flight to HKG, but some passengers took to social media to complain that they felt abandoned by the airline. A Chinese tour group flying on the aborted trip told reporters that the airline provided each traveler with a $20 meal voucher, but were otherwise left to their own devices.

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
Sydneyberlin October 30, 2015

This is why you should get rid of those old rattlers, they had their time long past. But yea, it's United, so what else can you expect!

weero October 18, 2015

Yes those 744s drink too much fuel. This is why most more modern airlines have gotten rid of them a long while ago.

AAJetMan October 15, 2015

Was it a mis-calculation? STronger winds than forecasted? Any findings?

drvannostren October 13, 2015

Did the flight refuel and leave again?

lakers6902 October 13, 2015

It's United, what do you expect. I wouldn't be surprised if they rerouted to some outpost in Alaska and left the passengers there, to fight off the wild, while they inspected the aircraft.