Duck, Duck, Goose Bay

A plane full of passengers had to do an emergency landing in Goose Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador, and the passengers were accommodated in an army barracks overnight, much to their chagrin. Social media took up the banner of the United Airlines poor customer service at housing passengers in the barracks, while the crew got to stay in the only available rooms at a local hotel (nothing else was available for the passengers).

CFB Goose Bay, Newfoundland & Labrador

My initial thought on all this is that making an overnighter in an army barracks sound like a fate worse than death does an enormous disservice to our soldiers who make a barracks their home. You don’t knock people’s homes, that’s just rude.

Additional backlash commentary that I’ve come across, and with which I concur, are as follows:

  • Better to do an overnight in Goose Bay than crash land.
  • Short memories, my friends: Goose Bay housed the passengers of 7 planes during 9/11. Give the town credit for taking one for the team at the drop of a hat.
  • As for the crew being housed in a hotel, isn’t it a good thing for your pilots in particular to be superbly well-rested for the second leg of the journey?
  • United did comp the flight for everyone, plus some additional compensation (whatever nebulous amount that may be).
  • Better to overnight in a barracks than on the plane.

This whole incident really amounts to a case of #FirstWorldProblems. Fair enough, not an ideal situation, but a clean room, a roof over your head, a working bathroom, and a place to stretch your legs….not so bad.


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