It’s one thing to be trapped in paradise, it’s another to be trapped in paradise’s airport. Yet, that’s what some United Airlines passengers say happened over the weekend when their flight from Maui to Chicago was delayed for more than 24 hours and the airline’s furnished hotel had only a dozen or so rooms open.
KHON2 reports that the end of a tropical vacation quickly turned sour for passengers on United flight 348 as they endured nearly 10 delays with little explanation from the airline.
A Day Of Delays
The flight, which was supposed to depart at 4 p.m. Saturday, was preparing to board when the gate agents unexpectedly closed the door, noting that there was an unspecified issue.
Passengers say that more delays followed, with the airline providing different reasons for the postponements. Eventually, they were told the flight wouldn’t leave until the following day.
Some customers tried to rebook on another flight. But KHON reports those passengers were told they would have to pay out-of-pocket for the new trip, as their original flight hadn’t been canceled.
“People are frustrated, just sitting here and waiting and just no answers,” one traveler said.
United offered the stranded flyers hotel and food vouchers, but many passengers said that was more like an empty promise. To that end, one passenger claims that the designated hotel only had 14 rooms available.
Another woman says she ended up renting a car and driving around looking for open rooms, to no avail. In the end, many of the passengers simply slept at the airport, KHON reports.
On Sunday, the flight was delayed once again. It finally departed around 2:30 p.m., nearly 24 hours after it was scheduled to takeoff.
A rep for United tells KHON that the flight had experienced a mechanical delay.
“Safety is always our top priority, and we understand this was a significant frustration for our customers,” the airline said. “We have apologized for the inconvenience and will be providing compensation to those impacted by this delay, and can confirm the aircraft has departed for Chicago.”