United Airlines just can’t seem to dig itself out from the mountain of bad publicity as it continues to accumulate.
Now, their reputation has suffered another blow after a flight was canceled after fuel gushed from a plane’s wing as passengers waited for take-off. As freshly weds Rachel Brumfield and Mike can be considered a modern-day heroes, were about to board their flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Venice for their honeymoon when they noticed fuel dripping from the left wing of the aircraft.
The leak, which was evident from Brumfield’s seat and appeared to be coming from the plane’s wing, seemed to the pair to be a huge warning sign. But after alerting a flight attendant, Mike was told that everything was fine and sent back to his seat.
Brumfield recorded the leak at that time, and she later shared the footage on social media which went viral. In the video, she can be heard saying, “This is not normal. She (the flight attendant) lied to you.”
“I’m sitting looking out the window at the wings, and all of a sudden fuel started shooting out of the wing really really hard. It was huge — it looked like a fire hose,” Rachel Brumfield recalled.
Rachel said that her husband persisted. “He’s like, ‘But something’s not right.’ They said, ‘Is it an emergency?’ He said, ‘I don’t know,’ so they said, ‘Go sit down.’ They said, ‘Everything’s norma.’”
The 28-year-old bride and her groom still persisted in pointing out the fuel leak to the oblivious crew. When the crew members finally looked outside the window for themselves, they hurried to the cockpit after which the plane’s engine went off and fire trucks came rushing toward the plane. The leak was later confirmed to be fuel.
All passengers were promised accommodations and seats on another flight traveling the next day when the flight was ultimately canceled. However, Brumfield and her husband decided to arrange an earlier ticket on their own since they needed to get to Venice quickly in order to take a cruise.
Everything was going smoothly until the couple discovered that United, for unclear reasons, would only give them a food coupon and not cover the expense of lodging. As a result, Brumfield had to spend an uncomfortable night sleeping in the airport, where he eventually found a spot on the floor to rest.
Mike, who was worried about arriving in Venice in time for his and his wife’s cruise, posted on Facebook to criticize United Airlines for not accommodating him and his wife during what was intended to be their honeymoon trip.
He said: “My beautiful bride on our honeymoon. Thank you, United Airlines,We saved your united flight 170 from possibly crashing into the Atlantic, you praised us saying you’d take GOOOOD care of us, then canceled the flight and disappeared. We’re supposed to be in Venice right now, starting a romantic day. But luckily, several united airlines employees have been super rude to us, so at least there’s that!!”
Rachel, a talented pianist from Chicago who met her husband Mike at the dueling piano bar where they both enjoyed tickling the ivories, declared, “I will never fly United again.” Regarding the airline, she continued, “Every person was awful.”
After a long night at the airport, the couple eventually made it to Venice where they boarded their cruise.
United Airlines issued a statement on the incident the following day but not acknowledging Mike Brumfield’s claims, the United Airlines issued a statement on the incident the following day:
“While taxiing to the runway yesterday evening, United flight 170 traveling from Newark to Venice, Italy returned to the gate due to a fuel leak and was later canceled.”
“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience. Our team helped provide customers with hotel accommodations for the night and are working to get them back on their way to Venice today,” United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin said.
Watch the video below for more details: