Published on Friday, August 25, 2017

Pilot announcement of 'horrific storms' ahead panics passengers

A pilot's frank warning over the possibility of a bumpy flight ahead caused some passengers to freak out.

The United Airlines pilot said the Newark-bound flight would pass through 'horrific storms including tornadoes,' passengers said.

To add to the edgy atmosphere, the pilot then asked all aboard to 'get to know your neighbors,' passenger Pamela Kent said.

"It was a general feeling of being rattled. You want a pilot to have confidence. There was not that feeling," she said.

Kent said the pilot seemed angry.

That prompted a flight attendant to reassure passengers saying that 'there is nothing to be concerned about.'

However things did not improve.

As the plane was taxiing from the gate at Chicago the pilot said there was a mechanical problem and returned to the terminal.

That was the final straw for up to 50 passengers who decided to deplane and seek other options.

The crew had already 'timed out' on their work hours by then and the flight was further delayed while a replacement crew was brought in.

"Customers boarded a new aircraft and continued on their journey. Customers are receiving compensation and we apologize for this inconvenience," United said.

The plane finally reached its destination more than six hours late.

"We would never put our crew or our passengers in a situation where it was unsafe to fly. The safety of the passengers and the crew is always our No. 1 priority," airline spokeswoman Natalie Noonan said.


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