United Airlines passenger speaking to worker at desk (l) United Airlines plane in runway (c) United Airlines message (r)

Croatorum/Shutterstock @simple_juck/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Miserably traumatic experience’: Family says United refuses to reimburse passengers grounded on airplane for 7 hours with no water, no A/C

'Absolute nightmare.'


Sarah Kester


Posted on Aug 23, 2023

Passengers who were stuck on a United Airlines flight for seven hours with no food, water, or A/C are demanding reimbursement for the “nightmare” travel experience.

One man says that United refuses to compensate his family for the extra $4,000 they spent on travel arrangements after the airline canceled both of their flights. 

Passengers were supposed to be traveling on a United Airlines flight from New Jersey to Rome on July 3, but the airline rescheduled takeoff multiple times due to technical issues. The flight was eventually canceled in the early hours of July 4.

Passengers were left waiting for hours in the Boeing 787 that reached temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

In his viral video that amassed over 5.7 million views, Jack (@simple_jack) shares that he’s the son of the woman in a viral video that was posted on July 7 by TikTok user Bianca @dragoneb. 

The video, which has been viewed over 2.4 million times, shows what happened after passengers were let off the plane. 

“There’s children back there, and a girl had a panic attack and passed out—so that was a health concern,” Jack’s mom, Christine Ieronimo, told United Airlines staff.

“We had elderly people, we had babies, we have pregnant women. Not even water, you didn’t even pass around water,” she adds. 

@dragoneb United Airline Flight – EWR to FCO #united #unitedairline #unitedairlines #newarknj ♬ original sound – Bianca Dragone

In Jack’s video, he alleges that the statement United Airlines released about the situation is largely fabricated. To prove this, he reads through the statement and provides context to debunk the claims. 

“On July 3, United flight 40 returned to the gate at Newark Liberty to address a temperature issue,” Jack reads the statement before alleging that this is false. 

“The plane did not return to the gate when they were addressing the issue,” Jack says. “It stayed on the tarmac while we got updated every 45 minutes or so. We only got back to the gate after being on the tarmac for four hours.”

The next part of the statement reads, “Once there, we offered customers the opportunity to deplane and later provided snacks and beverages.”

“This is partially false and also a straight-up lie,” Jack says. He claims that airline employees encouraged passengers to stay on the plane by saying that the flight would be leaving soon. 

“Only three people got off the plane,” he explains. “We got back on the tarmac and stayed there for an additional hour before they canceled the flight, and it took two additional hours to get back to the gate again.”

@simple_juck An update on the United Airline Flight on July 3rd from EWR to FCO. #united #unitedairlines #newarknj #ewr ♬ original sound – Jack

Jack also took issue with the airline claiming that attendants passed out food and water.

“The only reason people got any water was because I got out of my seat, went to the back of the plane, stole all the water bottles, and started passing them around my goddam self while the flight attendant sat at the back of the plane on her phone,” he says.

For his final point, Jack pointed out the discrepancy in the airline claiming that it “offered compensation in the hopes of having an opportunity to welcome [passengers] back.”

Jack showed a screenshot of a message from United Airlines, offering passengers a $400 electronic travel certificate that can be used toward the purchase of their next flight with United.

But he believes that $400 isn’t enough to cover the extra expenses the family spent on additional flights. 

“A $400 voucher does not cover the $4,000 we lost at all. United has refused to compensate us for any additional expenses we took on as a result of this cancellation,” he says. 

“Downplaying this situation would result in another multi-billion dollar corporation walking away without facing any consequences for creating a miserably traumatic experience for hundreds of people,” he concludes. 

In the comments, viewers were enthralled by Jack’s storytelling ability.

“Bro this is the type of documentary I’d watch while eating dinner. 10/10,” one wrote.

“Ur voice is perfect for story telling,” said a comment that received over 97,100 likes.

A third simply commented, “Hey man. make documentaries.”

A man who was on the same flight shared that he, too, has struggled to receive fair compensation

“It’s been an absolute nightmare trying to even get the refund for the flight we didn’t take,” the user wrote.

Someone else shared their own United Airlines horror story. “I stay in the airport for 10 HOURS once from United airlines,” they commented. 

Another commenter advised Jack and his family to hire a lawyer.

“Lawyer up if you haven’t, their own contract says you’re owed far more than that and they violated your rights by detaining you w/o food, water,” they wrote.

One person suggested filing a claim with the Federal Aviation Administration. “File a claim with the faa I think everyone should be entitled to 4 times the cost of the flight,” they said.

The Daily Dot reached out to Jack via TikTok comment and United Airlines. 

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*First Published: Aug 23, 2023, 5:14 pm CDT