Simple Flying contacted United Airlines who told us "United Flight 179 traveling from Newark Liberty International Airport to Hong Kong International Airport diverted to Goose Bay Airport in Newfoundland, Canada due to a medical emergency onboard".
Several other plane passengers tweeted similar frustrations, some criticizing United for a lack of communication during the ordeal.
CBC News reported that there were 250 passengers on the plane and that the airline believed that the extreme cold weather resulted in the mechanical malfunction, which prevented takeoff from the Canadian airport. The airline apologised to those affected in a statement and said it would do everything possible to assist them.
A rescue plane was dispatched from Newark to pick up the passengers and return them to New Jersey. However, the flight was rerouted to Happy Valley-Goose Bay Airport in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada when a passenger experienced a medical emergency.
Sonjay Dutt, a passenger on the plane, said on Twitter that the plane's door had broken and that they were stuck on board as the weather dipped to -30C outside. It went on to land in Goose Bay. A door broke and because there was no customs official on duty overnight, the passengers could not leave the plane.
Dutt also said food and water was running low until about 10 hours into the delay, when officials delivered Tim Hortons to hungry travellers.
In the statement sent to Euronews, United Airlines apologised to it's customers for the delay, saying it did "everything possible" to help.
As well as numerous passengers taking to Twitter to detail their discomfort, a new parody account was set up in the name of the beleaguered flight, called Save United 179.
Dutt said he's a frequent flyer with the airline and will be looking for answers once he gets back. The passengers had to spend the night in the plane for more than a dozen hours. They did come, but 12 hours late, and we get on that flight and we ask for food, and they said there was no food, only snacks like pretzels.
The rescue plane landed at Newark at about 6pm on Sunday, according to Dutt, about 27 hours after the passengers had initially departed from the airport.
United booked some passengers for flights on to Hong Kong, but others made a decision to just return home after the almost two-day ordeal, CNN reports. The entire way they have treated us from troubleshooting, communicating and actual treatment (or lack of) by most of the flight attendants has been not only unprofessional, but downright DISGUSTING'.