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Passengers on British Airways flight to Houston endure 9-hour flight to nowhere after pilots turn around as plane reaches North America

Passengers on a British Airways service from London Heathrow to Houston were forced to endure a nine-hour flight to nowhere on Monday after pilots decided to turn around just as the flight arrived in North America.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with up to 216 passengers on board, ended up reversing across the Atlantic and landing exactly where it started at London Heathrow around 7 p.m. Monday evening.

The flight time for this flight to nowhere was nine hours, only 30 to 40 minutes less than the time it normally takes to fly from London to Houston. In fact, on June 4, the same flight reached Houston in just 9 hours and 9 minutes, aided by strong tailwinds.

Boarding flight BA195 before 9 a.m., passengers and crew spent the entire day on the plane and ultimately had nothing to show for it.

It is understood that a technical problem was detected with one of the plane’s Rolls-Royce Trent engines as it approached Newfoundland, Canada. The problem did not pose an immediate safety risk, but would require inspection and possible engineering work.

Rather than continuing to Houston or diverting to another U.S. airport where British Airways has limited engineering resources, the airline ordered the plane to return to Heathrow, where a British Airways maintenance base is located. .

Last October, the same plane (registration G-ZBKN) was forced to divert to Anchorage, Alaska, on a flight from Tokyo after a passenger’s cell phone got stuck and then crushed in a seat, causing smoke to start in the cabin.

The plane remained on the ground in Anchorage for approximately three and a half hours before continuing to Toronto, where, by this point, the crew had “expired” and the flight had to be grounded for pilots and cabin crew can get some time. rest.

In the end, the passengers arrived in London 33 hours late.

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Mateusz Maszczynski


Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant with the Middle East’s largest airline and flew throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centered stories. Always keeping his ear to the ground, Matt’s industry knowledge, analysis and coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.