A United Airlines flight headed to Italy was forced to stop taxiing on the runway at Newark Liberty International Airport after fuel started gushing from the plane’s left wing.
In a report by the Washington Post, Rachel Brumfield, a passenger on United Airlines Flight 170, recalled the alarming fuel leak, which prompted passengers to alert the staff. The 28-year-old newlywed was traveling with her husband, Mike, for their honeymoon in Venice, Italy, when the incident took place.
According to Brumfield, she was looking out the plane’s window as it taxied on the tarmac when she noticed jet fuel started shooting out of the airline’s Boeing 767-300’s left wing. The distressed passenger recorded a footage of the incident, describing the huge leak as looking like “a fire hose.”
In the short clip, Brumfield can be heard asking her husband, “What could that be? There’s trucks everywhere, that’s not normal.” Mike then decided to call the attention of the crew.
However, the United Airlines staff allegedly “yelled at him” to sit down. The couple claimed that the crew did not take their warnings seriously and even assured them that everything’s normal despite the obvious threat and emergency.
Eventually, the United Airlines crew looked out the window and instantly rushed to the cockpit to warn the unsuspecting pilot. Immediately after that, the plane’s engine went off, and fire trucks started rushing towards the jet, reports revealed.
Reports added that shortly after the flight attendants realized that the couple practically saved the day, they thanked and invited them to the cockpit. The couple was even treated to a glass of champagne. Brumfield revealed they showed the recorded video to the pilots, who were reportedly “shaken “by it.
“They just looked at the video and they all kind of looked at each other, like, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this.'”
Brumfield also claimed that after seeing the video, the United staff asked them to “go easy” on the airline on social media, especially amid multiple customer service-related complaints about it.
— Rachel (@RachelEPas) June 14, 2017
Despite the couple’s heroic deed, United Airlines reportedly “wanted nothing to do” with them. Brumfield told the news outlet that the airline did not even provide them with a proper place to rest after canceling their flight. Apparently, the couple had to sleep on the floor of baggage claim that night while waiting for the booked Delta flight, which the airline arranged.
Aside from booking their flight, United Airlines only provided a food voucher to the couple, reports revealed.
Meanwhile, the controversial airline giant released an official statement about the incident but failed to confirm whether or not the claims of the couple were true. Jonathan Guerin, United Airlines spokesperson, commented on the incident.
“While taxiing to the runway yesterday evening, United flight 170 traveling from Newark to Venice, Italy returned to the gate due to a fuel leak, and was later cancelled. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience. Our team helped provide customers with hotel accommodations for the night and are working to get them back on their way to Venice today.”
— dangy (@djp1016) June 13, 2017
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]