Wednesday 3 April 2024

Flight diverts after toilets flooded and raw sewage leaked down the aisle

UNITED BOEING 787-10 N12010 (MSN 40926)

A United Airlines flight from Frankfurt (FRA/EDDF) to San Francisco (SFO/KSFO) was forced to divert back to Germany after one of the toilets started to flood shortly after takeoff, and raw sewage leaked down the aisle, with passengers reporting a nauseating smell that permeated the entire cabin.

One of the passengers on United flight UA59 said that even before takeoff, the flight attendants had warned them that two of the ten lavatories onboard the Boeing 777-300 would be out of action for the entire 11-hour flight to California due to a maintenance issue.

Once the six-year-old aircraft was airborne, however, things quickly went from bad to worse as the out-of-action lavatories started to flood as the plane was still making its ascent to cruising altitude for the transatlantic crossing.

As raw sewage started to leak into the cabin from the flood lavatory, the pilots entered a holding pattern over the North Sea for the coast of the Netherlands.

After circling several times as the crew attempted to ‘troubleshoot’ the smelly situation, the pilots decided to return to Frankfurt, where the plane was met by waiting fire engines – presumably as a precaution because the aircraft was still ‘heavy’ with fuel.

Once on the ground, United was forced to cancel the flight and put the passengers in a hotel for the night before getting them on a replacement flight the following day.

In a statement, a spokesperson for United said:  "United Flight 59 returned to Frankfurt following a maintenance issue with one of the aircraft’s lavatories”.

The statement continued: “The passengers were provided with hotel accommodations overnight in Frankfurt – and were rebooked on a different flight to San Francisco the next day”.

In January, flight attendants on a 16-hour flight from Delhi to New York JFK were forced to use blankets to mop up ‘sewage’ that was leaking from the lavatories down the aisles of a packed Boeing 777-300.

In that incident, passengers reported that four of the onboard lavatories started to flood around six hours into the flight. The pilots, however, decided to keep going to New York.

United Airlines has made headlines in recent weeks for a string of maintenance issues affecting its aircraft, in particular its Boeing fleet.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: United Airlines 
Code: UA/ UAL
Aircraft: Boeing 777-322
Registration: N2243U
Serial Number: 63723
Engines: 2 x GE GE90-115B
First Flew: June 2017
Age: 6.10 Years 

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