• A United Airlines flight had to refuel after taxiing for six hours at Newark airport, per The Independent.
  • The flight was reportedly canceled after almost nine hours because the crew worked their maximum hours.
  • United told The Independent that the plane "no longer had enough fuel for the whole trip."

A United Airlines flight was forced to refuel after waiting for more than six hours on the runway before it was canceled because its crew reached their working-hours limit, The Independent first reported.

The flight, which was scheduled to depart from Newark and land in Denver, was initially delayed because of bad weather conditions, per The Independent.

After taxiing around the airport for more than six hours, the plane returned to the terminal because it "no longer had enough fuel for the whole trip," a United spokesperson told The Independent.

One passenger onboard the flight was Hiroko Tabuchi, a New York Times reporter, according to tweets seen by The Independent, some of which appear to have been deleted.

Tabuchi tweeted on August 22 that the plane kept taxiing around Newark airport.

In a separate tweet, Tabuchi said she had been sitting on the plane at Newark for six hours. United responded to her tweet, apologizing for the extended delay.

"We were literally stuck inside the plane," Tabuchi tweeted.

The Independent reported that Tabuchi said in a tweet that the plane returned to the gate so passengers could disembark while it was refueled.

Passengers received a notification on the United app that the flight had been canceled, but Newark airport staff told them to board the plane, Tabuchi said, per The Independent.

The flight was delayed further as it waited for two hours on the airport tarmac, Tabuchi wrote in a tweet, cited by The Independent.

Tabuchi tweeted that the flight was called off after nearly nine hours because the crew had hit the number of hours they were legally allowed to work, according to The Independent. It took another 30 minutes for the plane to reach the gate and passengers to step off the plane again, Tabuchi said, per the report.

United didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of US operating hours. Insider also reached out to Tabuchi for comment.

Airline crew timing out isn't an uncommon situation. Passengers were kicked off a TUI flight in July because the crew had worked too many hours, MailOnline reported. Another group of passengers were left in an airport overnight because Qantas crew had timed out and the airline couldn't find any accommodation, the company told Insider.

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