Nearly 300 passengers on the UA 86 flight enroute from New Jersey to Shanghai had a terrible experience on board on June 8, 2017 – they stranded on the plane for 11 hours.
Due to a mechanical issue, the flight was at first delayed for about 4 hours. After boarding, the passengers had waited for another 7 hours since more than 10 pilot crews had been replaced continuously according to the requirements of Flight Time Limitations (FTL) to avoid pilot fatigue.
Most passengers understood the importance of the mental status of pilots. However, UA unexpectedly took a total of 7 hours to manage the replacement of pilots crew 3 times, making hundreds of people wait in an airtight cabin for such a long time. And during this horrible idle time, UA did not even offer water and food. “No lunch, no dinner. If you want some water, you have to ask the crew yourself, while they were not seen in the cabin most of the time,” a passenger said.
Even worse, the cabin crew didn’t care about the feelings of passengers at all. Some of the passengers were old people and children while nobody was allowed to leave the cabin to get some fresh air, except for two people who chose to give up the flight without any compensation. According to a passenger Surname Zhan, her father, also a passenger on the UA 86 flight, had shown signs and symptoms of anxiety after arrival.
Afterwards, UA apologized for the mechanical issue and frequent replacement of pilot crews, and claimed that it would provide either $1,000 worth of air ticket voucher or 50,000 miles for the passengers, while it still didn’t mention the terrible and inappropriate service of its staff.