United Flight Diverted After Lavatories 'Reach Capacity'
Travelers on board a United Airlines flight to Hawaii on Sunday were stuck in a... messy... situation after the flight was diverted when the "lavatories had reached capacity." United Flight 1219 from Denver (DEN) to Lihue (LIH) was diverted to San Francisco (SFO) after it had already flown well over the Pacific Ocean.
"I am very sorry that our lavatories had reached capacity while Flight 1219 was en route to Lihue," said United Airlines in a statement to passengers. "A decision was made to turn back and land in San Francisco where arrangements were made to change planes. I can appreciate that this experience was disappointing and unpleasant."
Two passengers, Rich and Kristen Anderson, told Fox 31 that the pilot had told passengers that they would be diverting to SFO just three hours before landing at their intended destination of LIH. According to the Andersons, the pilot also told passengers that the diversion was caused by the failure to properly service the lavatories prior to departing DEN. For what was supposed to be an eight-hour flight, the entire journey reportedly took passengers 16 hours.
Mr. Anderson said that he suspected something was wrong when he attempted to use a lavatory but the door on board the Boeing 757-200 was locked.
"They had locked them," Anderson said. "I had gone back partway through to the bathroom and one of them was locked. The flight attendant said that one is not working. I think they were locking them as they were filling up."
United issued an apology to travelers on board Flight 1219, and reportedly offered each passenger either 10,000 MileagePlus miles or a $200 voucher toward a future United flight.
"Bottom line is they ruined a lot of peoples' vacations yesterday," Rich Anderson said.
This isn't the first time a flight has had to take a different flight path because of lavatory issues. In December 2017, a Delta flight made an emergency bathroom break after the lavatories stopped working.