Pilot Panics Pax With Pre-Flight Announcement

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
A pilot's alarming warning over the likelihood of a turbulent flight ahead caused some United Airlines passengers to freak out.

The pilot told pax who boarded at ORD that the EWR-bound flight would pass through “horrific storms including tornadoes,” passengers said.

The pilot then suggested that passengers “get to know your neighbors” as the flight was going to be “very turbulent,” 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 added that the pilot sounded angry.

The pilot’s announcements prompted a flight attendant to reassure pax that there was nothing to worry it. But things got worse from there. As the plane was taxiing from the gate 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.

To add insult to injury, crew members had “timed out” on their work hours by then and the flight was further delayed while replacements were 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.

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