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In Brief: Medical Diversion Leaves 200+ United Flyers Trapped in Tokyo Airport for 24 Hours

Upwards of 200 passengers on a United Airlines flight from Shanghai to Newark were delayed for nearly 24 hours Monday and forced to spend the night inside Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT). The delay came after a medical diversion forced the Boeing 777 to land at NRT. Due to the unscheduled landing, passengers were unable to leave the airport, as they could not pass through immigration. United spokesman Luke Punzenberger issued an apology to the affected passengers, stating that the airline would compensate them for the inconvenience and reschedule their flight for sometime on Tuesday.

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Helen Reynolds March 20, 2015

FYI: United gave us pretty reasonable compensation

dvs7310 March 20, 2015

Helen Reynolds, Thanks for filling us in on that. That makes far more sense. Really surprising that the flight had such a high percentage of Chinese though. Too bad you couldn't get hotels and sadly at that hour there is no transportation into Tokyo except taxi.

rjburns March 19, 2015

i wouldn't have been on a UA flight so no problem!

FlyingWithers March 18, 2015

So odd. Delta would have found a way to help those with passports that did not need visas. I would have left the airport and found a place to stay with my U.S. passport.

Helen Reynolds March 18, 2015

I was on that flight!! We were on the plane for about 5 hours while the crew tried to get everything arranged for us to leave. We missed the airport curfew and had to disembark sometime around midnight. There were a dozen or so US passengers and I think the rest of the passengers were Chinese. We were allowed all the way through immigration and into the lobby of the hotel. We were told by UA representatives that they weren't able to find hotels for all of us, so we got inflatable mattresses, blankets, water, bananas and cookies. The flight back to Newark was at 2:05pm the following afternoon.