Here’s Why United Airlines Had To Deplane A Flight To Orlando

A United Airlines flight was heading to Orlando International Airport from San Francisco International Airport on Thursday afternoon when the passengers on the aircraft had to deplane due to a potential threat. The reason for this situation has now been revealed.

United 737-900ER
Passengers flying from the West Coast to the East Coast of the United States has to hop back off the aircraft before heading out of California this week. Photo: Getty Images

A cause for concern

United flight 2167 was scheduled due to depart San Francisco at 14:00 on June 22nd. However, the passengers had to leave the Boeing 737-924ER after the pilot announced a threat on the aircraft.

SFGATE has spoken about details that reporter Chris Beale shared. The 737 was sitting on the ground following reports from numerous passengers that they received inappropriate photos.

United Airlines 737-900ER
The United Airlines Boeing 737-900ER had to wait at San Francisco while officials investigated the issue. Photo: United Airlines

Delayed passengers

Ultimately, photos of an Airsoft gun were being shared through AirDrop, a popular document sharing function available on Apple devices. It has now been revealed that a teenager on the flight shared the images.

Thus, the passengers had to all deplane for the narrowbody to be cleared and inspected for a potential threat. The travelers then all had to go through security again, apart from the teenager, which was not allowed back on the flight.

The weapon in the picture reportedly did not belong to the prankster. However, he managed to still disrupt operations and cause a three-hour delay.

According to, the plane departed SFO at 17:12 to arrive at MCO at 01:03 the following morning. Undoubtedly, there would have been many frustrated passengers arriving at their destination way after midnight.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

A word from United

A United spokesperson has now confirmed to Simple Flying that the trip was delayed amid a security issue involving a passenger. The Chicago-based carrier also said that authorities were notified about the situation.

The airline added the following:

“As a precaution, all customers deplaned and were rescreened before the flight departed.”

N75429, the 737 that was involved in the delay, was delivered to Continental Airlines in December 2008, three years before the merger with United. According to ch-aviation, this unit is one of 136 737-900ERs in the operator’s fleet. Presently, 122 of them are active, leaving only 14 on the ground.

The airline will be happy with this ratio following the significant downturn last year. Domestic action across the US has notably picked up in recent months.

United 737 MAX
United Airlines is ramping up domestic services again. Photo: Getty Images.

The company is also expecting a strong long-haul return next year as international travel opens up. Nonetheless, United will be keen to clamp down on delays such as this Thursday’s to ensure operations run safely and smoothly.

What are your thoughts about the passengers on this United Airlines flight deplaning on Thursday? What do you make of the cause of the event in San Francisco? Let us know what you think of the overall situation in the comment section.