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Human Interest

Honeymooners Say They Slept on Airport Floor After Alerting United Airlines to Massive Fuel Leak

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Brandon Sloter via AP Photo

Newlyweds en route to their romantic Italian honeymoon were left stranded at the airport last week — after they alerted their United Airlines flight crew to fuel that was rushing out of the plane’s wing.

Mike Brumfield shared a photo of his new wife, Rachel, sleeping on the floor of the airport with her head on her luggage on Facebook, along with videos of large amounts of liquid spewing out of the plane as it taxied on the tarmac.

“My beautiful bride on our honeymoon,” he captioned the post, which is no longer available but reported on by NJ.com and other outlets. “Thank you, United Airlines.”

He added, “We saved your united flight 170 from possibly crashing into the Atlantic, you praised us saying you’d take GOOOOD care of us, then canceled the flight and disappeared.”

Mike added that the couple were “stranded” at Newark International Airport with no idea where their luggage was and no one from the airline who was willing to help.

“We’re supposed to be in Venice right now, starting a romantic day,” he wrote. “But, luckily, several united airlines employees have been super rude to us, so at least there’s that!!”

Rachel told the New York Post that after initially being thankful to the couple for preventing a potential disaster — even offering the couple champagne and inviting them into the cockpit — the airline “wanted nothing to do” with them. They were only offered a food voucher for their trouble.

“I will never fly United again,” said the professional pianist from Chicago, who met Mike at the dueling piano bar where they work. “Every person there was awful.”

Although United was unhelpful, other passengers expressed their gratitude to the couple. One passenger who received a hotel voucher offered the duo their room while another rented a limo to take the newlyweds to John F. Kennedy Airport for their new flight, according to the Post.

“All these people kept thanking us,” Rachel said.

The couple had booked a Mediterranean cruise once they arrived in Venice.

United only offered a general statement on the incident.

“While taxiing to the runway yesterday evening, United flight 170 traveling from Newark to Venice, Italy returned to the gate due to a fuel leak, and was later cancelled,” spokesman Jonathan Guerin told the Post. “We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience. Our team helped provide customers with hotel accommodations for the night and are working to get them back on their way to Venice today.”