After flights canceled for 'weather interruptions,' unhappy Mainers stuck in Newark

PORTLAND and BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - United Airlines says it can't do much to help customers who are stuck in Newark, New Jersey - when they were supposed to be in Maine by Thursday afternoon.

Multiple flights to both Bangor and Portland were canceled. United says it's because of an FAA-issued weather advisory.

But frustrated customers aren't totally buying it.

“The whole point was to get out of DC and go to the woods. And now I am stuck with people everywhere,” said Michael Rumohr. He was headed to Bangor from Virginia to go camping - but instead, he was stuck in Newark’s airport.

All because his flight to Bangor - and then his makeup flight to Portland - were both canceled.

The Newark United counter’s response was less than satisfactory to Rumohr. “I said to the [lady at the counter,] ‘What am I supposed to do? I'm already missing what I'm going up there for.’ I was like ‘are you going to put me in a hotel or anything?’ And they said no. And I said’ are you going to give me money for dinner at least?’ And they said ‘no. we can't do that.’”

United Airlines told NEWS CENTER that the issue is a weather advisory from the FAA .

In an email, a representative wrote, "We know weather interruptions can be frustrating, but operating safely is our top priority."

This explanation is not enough to please Rumohr - who was told he can't get a flight to Maine until Saturday at noon. “The fact that they can't put me on a flight until Saturday, like 36 hours away, is befuddling,” he said. “I can't figure out why everything is cancelled. I know that's beyond their control but why are they canceling flights. It's sunny there, it's sunny here, it's sunny the whole way in between.”

United told NEWS CENTER that the weather disruption affects smaller planes, like the ones that fly to Portland.
But according to the Portland Jetport website, a different United flight - flight 4094 - flew from Newark to Portland and arrived safely at 8:40 Thursday evening – despite the weather alert.

“I'm pretty pissed.,” said Rumohr.

He says he was told United won't pay for a hotel.

They said it's because the weather is out of their control - but that they would help him find one at a discounted rate.

The company also issue weather waivers to help customers change their flights.

But that doesn't help Rumohr - who still can't get a flight to Bangor until Saturday at noon.

“I'm just trying to keep positive because I'm stuck [in New Jersey] anyways. Inside, I'm screaming. I don't want to be here,” he said.

After over 8 hours of waiting, Rumohr was able to get a flight to Boston that left at 11:15 PM Thursday night.
Unfortunately - he's doing so without his luggage.

He waited for several hours for it to show up in Newark, but he says it was flown up to Portland instead.

He says he plans to spend the night in a hotel in Boston, and then his friend will drive all the way from Orono to pick him up Friday morning and pick his luggage up on the way.

 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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