A passenger on a United Airlines plane for more than seven hours on the runway said it felt like being tortured after being left without food or air conditioning.
On July 3 his wife Scott Rosnov and his wife were on board UA 40 from Newark International Airport to Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport in Rome when it failed to take off due to a technical issue.
The couple were on their way to their long-awaited honeymoon and had splurged on business-class tickets.
The flight was originally only delayed for 20 minutes after aircraft staff identified a problem with the air conditioning, Rosnov said.
After multiple attempts to fix the problem and two attempts at taxiing, the flight was eventually delayed for more than seven hours before it was then canceled.
We boarded the plane at 4:40 p.m. we didn't get off until about 12: 30 p.m., he said, adding that he didn't get off until around 12: 30 p.m.
Other passengers said they were left without food or water and in the sweltering heat, according to multiple reports.
Rosnov said that throughout the ordeal, the pilot only communicated with the passengers two times while flight attendants just didn't care. The flight attendants and the pilots did a horrible job from top to bottom, Rosnov said. It was almost like if they knew this flight wasn't going anywhere all the time. We were treated very wrong, we were kind of treated a little inhumanely, he said. Forget being locked on a plane for eight hours, they just didn't do anything to help.
After first boarding the plane, Rosnov said, I was expecting it to be cold like every time you board any plane, but sweat was dripping from my forehead. In each business-class passenger, Rosnov said, they had to look for another bottle of water because they were running low, which struck him as unusual.
He added, "It was a time when people were waking up to what was happening behind the curtain and saying it was going to be a disaster, '' he said. Of course, it was way better being upfront in first class, he said. Passengers in an economy class told newsweek that they were barely given any water and that one girl ended up passing out due to heat exhaustion. After their second attempt at taxiing was aborted, Rosnov said, the plane erupted into pandemonium.
At that point, people started standing and saying 'Screw the rules,' he said. So this is almost like being tortured a little bit. We didn't even get a peanut, nothing, just a pretzel. Rosnov also said that there were about three to four hours between when we were told the plane was returning and when we were able to get off the plane. Although the incident took place in early July, it didn't come to public attention until passengers posted about it on social media.
Rosnov, who had to spend thousands to book a hotel room and a new flight to Rome from John F. Kennedy Airport the next day, told Insider that he is still waiting on his refund.
I get cancellations can happen, but it didn't have to come at the expense of holding hostage human lives, he said.
The company'spokesman did not immediately respond to my request for comment, sent outside normal working hours.
Both the airline and the US Department of Transportation said they would investigate the incident.