United Airlines Locks Blind Woman in Empty Plane (Yes, It Was a Mistake)

A blind 18-year old woman traveling on United Airlines from Vancouver to Jacksonville (via Chicago) found herself locked inside the plane alone in Chicago after flight attendants apparently forgot about her.  After the plane landed in Chicago flight attendants told her to wait until all of the other passengers disembarked, then she would be helped off.  They managed to get half of that right.  The woman says she heard the sound of the airplane door closing, then silence.  It was then she realized that she was stuck alone on the plane.  After 10 minutes or so, she was lucky to hear a maintenance crew enter the plane, and she was escorted off.

In response, United apologized and gave her a $250 voucher, roughly what she would have received if you complain to them that the video players on the plane weren’t working.


  1. This is the second time i heard about a passenger being left on a plane following a flight to their destination. This one is more scary than the incident when the Canadian man fell asleep and was awaken by maintenance. How long does it take to walk the aircraft and check the restroom when it is taken out of service?

  2. As a F/A, I walk through the cabin after every flight scanning for “forgotten” belongings (not really looking for pax left behind, but …)

  3. Not only does United lock blind passengers on planes, they are trying to limit everyone. On my last UA flight, they repeatedly announced that everyone must remain in their assigned seat throughout the flight. Gone are the days when I could jump to that empty row and lie down. Now, with United’s Economy Plus seating, they are trying to inhibit people taking empty seats that they are still trying to sell, even onboard.