United Changes Protocol Following 14-Hour Delay at Goose Bay Airport
Following the United Airlines flight that left 250 passengers stranded on the tarmac for 14 hours at Goose Bay Airport (YYR) in Newfoundland, the airline has decided to seek new designated landing spots for future flight stops. Goose Bay, going forward, will only be used for emergency situations.
Originally en route from Newark (EWR) to Hong Kong, passengers aboard flight UA179 faced a series of ups and downs once they landed at the small Canadian airport for a medical emergency. After the passenger was brought to a local hospital, the flight faced another difficulty when the crew discovered an issue with one of the aircraft doors. The mechanics on hand at Goose Bay were unable to fix the problem (as they are used to dealing with smaller aircraft), and the plane sat in a state of limbo until the next morning.
A United spokesperson confirmed to TPG that the change is primarily due to the airport's small size. When the United aircraft was stranded, passengers were held on the plane because there were no customs agents at Goose Bay. The airport also didn't have the machinery or mechanics on hand to fix the plane upon landing, which further extended the delay.
As for where United flights that need to make non-emergency stops en route to Europe and Asia will go, that depends on the specific destination and circumstances in which the stop needs to be made. However, these stops are to occur at larger facilities that have the infrastructure to support a large passenger plane.