United Airlines Flight Diverts to Shannon After Laptop Gets Stuck in Seat

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 21, 2024 02:00 AMNews
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White United Airlines plane on park
White United Airlines plane on park. Source: unsplash

More than 150 passengers on a United Airlines flight from Zurich to Chicago were unexpectedly diverted to Shannon, Ireland, after a passenger’s laptop became wedged in a seat. The flight, operated by a Boeing 767-300ER, was forced to turn back over the Atlantic to address the safety concern.

The incident occurred during United Airlines flight UA12, which had departed Zurich Airport early on Sunday. Shortly after takeoff, the crew decided to divert to the nearest feasible airport when efforts to retrieve the stuck laptop were unsuccessful. This led to preparations for an overweight landing at Shannon Airport.

The Boeing 767-300ER, registered as N663UA, departed Zurich at 09:46 and was climbing steadily when the issue arose. The plane, initially on its path to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, made a significant course change over the Atlantic. Approximately four hours into the flight, the pilots decided to divert to Shannon, where the aircraft landed safely at 13:51.

Upon landing, the airport’s Fire and Rescue Service was on standby due to the overweight landing. Despite the crew’s efforts, the laptop remained stuck. Ground workers had to access the cabin floor from the cargo hold to safely retrieve the device. The flight was subsequently canceled due to crew duty time limitations, and passengers were accommodated overnight.

A United Airlines spokesperson confirmed the incident and highlighted the potential safety risk posed by the laptop's location. The flight was rescheduled for Monday, with N663UA set to operate as UA3030 from Shannon to Chicago.

Lithium batteries, commonly found in laptops, pose a significant safety risk if damaged, which is why such devices are not allowed in checked baggage. This incident underscores the importance of stringent safety protocols for electronic devices on flights.

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