Malfunctioning Toilets Lead to Nightmarish Two-Day Airline Delay

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Gary Hershorn / Reuters

It started with mid-flight broken toilets. But after an unexpected detour to Alaska, two days of delays and three Boeing 777 airliners, passengers who boarded last Sunday’s United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Shanghai made it to their expected destination.

And the story, as reported by Alaska’s Anchorage Daily News, describes an exhausting layover scenario. It’s the type, it seems, that no traveler ever wants to experience at the time, but might serve as a humorous anecdote a little while after the memory settles.

According to the newspaper, the airliner left San Francisco on Sunday at 2 p.m. But shortly into the thirteen-hour flight, the crew noticed that the lavoratories weren’t working and landed in Anchorage, where they sat on the tarmac until 8 p.m.

The next day, Monday, another Boeing 777 jet was flown in and passengers boarded it at 3 p.m. — and sat on the runway another five hours, because there was “there was a problem with the computer overheating” onboard, according to the newspaper. It left the lavatories inoperable for a second time. It wasn’t until a third airliner arrived, another day later, that the passengers were back en route.

Needless to say, as the Daily News reports, everyone onboard was fully refunded.

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