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Storms strand 200 passengers aboard Chicago jet for 8 hours

June 3, 2000
Web posted at: 4:10 a.m. EDT (0810 GMT)

CHICAGO (CNN) -- Almost 200 passengers waited nearly eight hours aboard a United Airlines plane at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport before their flight finally left for Washington late Friday.

The flight was held up by severe weather that caused travel delays along much of the East Coast.

Flight 1806 was scheduled to leave Chicago at 1:15 p.m. The flight didn't leave the ground until 9:53 p.m., according to Kurt Ebenhoch, spokesman for United Airlines.

"Some passengers, as you can imagine, were extremely frustrated. We were frustrated. This isn't the experience we like to offer the people who fly with us, however safety is our top priority," Ebenhoch said.

The Boeing 777 returned to the gate twice. Once to replace a crew who were out of flying hours and again to refuel. Ebenhoch said passengers then had a chance to leave the plane if they chose. Only a handful left, he said.

Passengers were given snacks while they waited on the tarmac. Ebenhoch said no meals were passed out because they normally don't offer a meal on the flight from Chicago to Washington.

Severe storms along the East Coast caused numerous delays Friday afternoon and evening.

"Occasionally things happen that are beyond our control. This was one of those times," Ebenhoch said.



RELATED SITES:
United Airlines
Chicago O'Hare International Airport
Information about the Boeing 777 Family

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