Last updated: 03:16 PM ET, Mon October 12 2015

Possible Fuel Leak Has United Hong Kong Flight Returning to San Francisco

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | October 12, 2015

Possible Fuel Leak Has United Hong Kong Flight Returning to San Francisco

A flight traveling from San Francisco to Hong Kong was reportedly forced to turn around and circle back to the U.S. due to a fuel shortage, the South China Morning Post reported.

Citing a flight-tracking website, the Post reported United Airlines Flight 869 departed San Francisco International Airport shortly after 8:30 p.m. local time Saturday before turning around near the Gulf of Alaska and landing at the airport a little over four hours later.

There were no injuries reported and the plane landed safely without issue.

The flight was then delayed more than 12 hours, departing for Hong Kong around 3 p.m. local time Sunday.

During the lengthy delay, emergency crews were reportedly alerted to the situation and ready to inspect the aircraft for a potential fuel leak, per the Post.

"Apparently the plane was using more fuel than usual and they were not sure if we were going to make it all the way to Hong Kong, so they decided to go back," passenger Marcelo Figueroa said via the Post.

Figueroa and other Flight 869 passengers took to Twitter to vent their frustration.

It remains to be seen what led to the issue that prompted the pilot to circle back just hours into the flight, but in addition to a potential leak, an expert told the Post that it's possible there was an error with the readings in the fuel system.

Regardless, the crew was wise to err on the side of caution.


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