United Airlines Flight Turns Back Over Atlantic Due to Stuck Laptop
Tuesday 28th, May 2024
Ireland Report / Story
In a strange turn of events, a United Airlines flight from Zurich to Chicago had to turn around over the Atlantic Ocean after a passenger's laptop became stuck in a business class seat, posing a potential safety risk.

The flight, which took off on Sunday, was about 800 kilometres over the Atlantic when it diverted to Shannon, Ireland, according to Flightradar24 data. The Boeing 767 landed safely, and engineers were able to free the laptop. However, the flight crew had reached their maximum permitted duty hours, so they were unable to continue the journey.

As a result, the 157 passengers on board had to stay overnight in Ireland. A United Airlines spokesperson stated that the flight diverted to "address a potential safety risk caused by a laptop being stuck in an inaccessible location". United Airlines provided hotel accommodation for the passengers and arranged for an onward flight to Chicago on Monday.

The Boeing 767 was scheduled to take off from Shannon more than 24 hours after it had landed, according to Flightradar24.

Incidents involving laptops or phones becoming wedged in seats are not uncommon. Airline safety videos often caution passengers about the potential fire risk posed by lithium batteries in such devices. The same risk is why passengers are advised to carry these devices in their hand luggage rather than in checked baggage.

Continuing the flight over the Atlantic could have been dangerous, as there would be no convenient landing points if a fire had occurred.
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