United Flight Attendant Announces Explosion As Plane Diverts, Strands Passengers On Tarmac

United Airlines flight 2425 from Orange County to Houston diverted to Austin on Friday after a flight attendant reportedly announced “that there was an explosion in the cargo and there could or may not be a fire.” According to a passenger on the flight, “You could feel the plane start to pick up in speed.”

“Everyone was terrified,” he added. “The flight attendants tried to keep everyone as calm as possible.”

Upon landing, the passengers were told to leave their bags and get off the plane, Nathaniel said.

The aircraft taxied to a remote position and passengers were left out in the cold on the tarmac for “for close to an hour” before shuttle buses arrived to take them to the terminal.

United for its part isn’t speaking to what actually happen on the flight other than an unspecified mechanical issue. They do say, though, that there was no evidence of an explosion.

United flight 2425 from Orange County, California to Houston diverted to Austin out of an abundance of caution for a mechanical issue. The plane landed safely, passengers deplaned on the airfield and were transported to the terminal. We have assigned a new plane to continue the flight to Houston.

Video from a passenger on the flight posted to Twitter shows passengers waiting a good distance from the aircraft, and includes foul language so I won’t embed it, don’t turn sound on if others are in he room. Watch it here.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. No excuse for leaving the passengers out in the cold for an hour…and it was very cold in Austin last night

  2. She actually used the word “explosion?” Didnt she watch the first Airport movie?

  3. “BTW, Is there anyone onboard who knows how to fly a plane?…” omg!!

  4. One hour before passengers were sheltered. Must have diverted in a developing country!

  5. It could also be ” coded announcement” for other FA’s Landing fast, pax off fast on tarmac. No slides. Move plane fast.

  6. That’s why, (if possible,) I always look to have a seat that is not aligned with the compressor section or the turbine section.
    An uncontained failure from a powerplant can put your lights out permanently in about two nanoseconds.

  7. Please give an update when available. No excuse on leaving passengers outdoors in cold weather in a remote location on the tarmac.

    Shuttle should have come from the airport authorities. They must have had advance communication.

    The lack of explanation from United Airlines so far is interesting. Wonder what actually prompted this.

  8. Highly doubt it was some sort of “coded announcement.” If so, UA needs to revisit it. Besides scaring the hell out of a lot of passengers, an evacuation onto the tarmac without deploying the slides would ruin the day for a whole lot of passengers!

  9. @Bruce: Before the coded announcement “Easy Victor,” when you hear the coded announcement “SSCBD,” it means “stall, spin, crash, burn, and die.”

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