Hundreds of United Airlines customers are fuming after they were “abandoned” by the airlines at the remote Goose Bay Barracks in Canada after a mechanical issue with the airplane. The passengers say they were left in the cold northern barracks with no heat and only two thin blankets. The passengers claim that they had no contact from United for nearly 20 hours and were only fed two meager meals. Meanwhile, flight crew were transported to the nearest town to stay in “comfy” hotels.
The Daily Mail reports that around 300 passengers were taken by bus to the Goose Bay Barracks in Canada after their plane from Chicago to London experienced mechanical issues. The plane diverted to the remote Goose Bay and passengers were taken by bus to the barracks. However, the passengers say they were not adequately prepared for the state of the unheated barracks, and that they were forced to sleep on uncomfortable beds with just two thin sheets. To add insult to injury, passengers say that the flight crew was transported to “comfy” hotels while they suffered in the cold barracks with minimal food and warmth.
Passenger Simon Millward told the Mail that they were “abandoned” with no communication from United for over 20 hours. He even noted that two elderly people were placed in barracks away from the group without any contact.
“We have been completely abandoned by United staff. We were put in barracks with no heating, in the freezing north, and given two thin sheets to sleep with. We all slept in our clothes. Not a single person from United has seen us or been in touch. There were two old people who had difficulty walking who were dumped at a different part of the barracks, with no-one to contact them. There were a lot of children and babies on the flight. We’ve literally been dumped in the middle of nowhere. But all the crew stayed at a hotel in town. None of them have come to see us. We have been completely abandoned and are all confused.”
Millward’s concerns have been backed up on Twitter with angry passengers and relatives of passengers Tweeting United Airlines demanding answers.
disgusted my mate has been dumped in an army barracks in goose bay with no contact from @united for 12hrs, waiting 4 replacement aircraft
— Ellie Barnatt (@ellsbels) June 13, 2015
@united #958 Stuck in Goose Bay. No United employees visible. What’s the latest update on departure to London?
— Kristen Powell (@KPowellEPS) June 13, 2015
United Airlines responded to customer complaints on Twitter regarding the flight crew being sent to a hotel by noting they “must rest” in order to be able to continue the flight for the passengers. Meanwhile, they note that passengers can rest on board the airplane.
@SurrogateNerd The crew must rest in order to continue the flight. You can rest on board the aircraft knowing that they are in charge. ^CA — United (@united) June 13, 2015
But some people note the response as “crass” and think it showed a lack of empathy for the passengers’ plight.
Though angry passengers have been tweeting about life in the “remote” barracks and displeasure for the Goose Bay Barracks, Goose Bay residents are tweeting back noting that Goose Bay is a nice town and that they don’t appreciate their harsh words towards their beloved town.
@SurrogateNerd I currently live in Goose Bay and with the things you’re tweeting I am not very pleased about it. Goose bay isn’t remote.
— Clara Flowers (@ClaraFl29488222) June 14, 2015
However, residents of Goose Bay should take the criticism lightly and keep in mind that the passengers were stuck at the barracks with no means of transportation to travel outside of the facility itself. Therefore, the complaints and judgments are based solely on the barracks themselves, not the town which they can’t access. Despite the unfortunate set of events, passengers have noted that the staff at the Goose Bay Barracks have done a tremendous job and are wonderful.
“They have been wonderful to us.”
Passengers are now on their way to London and United has offered to reimburse all affected customers for the botched flight. What do you think about United Airlines response to the divert to Goose Bay Barracks?
[Image Credit: Twitter]