FlyerTalkers Give Live Account of United Flight Diversion


That was certainly the case on Thursday, July 20, 2023, when a United Airlines flight traveling from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) in Taipei was forced to return to California because of an unruly passenger trying to sneak into Polaris.


Trouble Starts When Flyer Won’t Return to Economy Seat

According to FlyerTalkers aboard the flight, the issue began when a flyer in the economy section tried to give himself an upgrade to Polaris. During the first drink service, Live4Upgrades says the unnamed passenger attempted to get a seat in the forward cabin but was caught by the flight crew.


“He walked back but then a few moments later, he’s back up in the Business cabin,” Live4Upgrades writes on the forums. “He appeared to be under the influence of something.”


After multiple attempts, the purser came on the intercom and asked all passengers to return to their seats. When the flyer in question didn’t go back to his economy seat, FlyerTalkers say the captain made the decision to return to San Francisco to remove the flyer.


“[The] passenger was never restrained,” United747, who was seated in 9A on the flight, writes on the forums. “Flight attendant asked myself and a few other guys to help with the situation to keep an eye on the guy. Things calmed down once he got seated.”


A statement from United to San Francisco TV station KRON-TV states: “United flight 871 returned to San Francisco due to a disruptive passenger. Law enforcement officials met the aircraft on arrival and removed the passenger.”

Those aboard the flight say the trip was resumed once a new crew was found. FlyerTalkers astutely note that returning to San Francisco allowed the airline to find a new flight team faster than diverting to another airport, like Honolulu.


“We were two hours in flight,” writes Live4Upgrades. “Remember, [Honolulu] is no longer a crew base for neither Pilots nor Flight Attendants.”


Get the full narrative and share your experiences on the FlyerTalk Forums.



Source: frugal travel guy

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