UPDATE: United Airlines reached out to Live And Let’s Fly concerning the Cleveland Browns charter and strongly refuted the assertion that the NFL team trashed the Boeing 757-300.
On Sunday, United flight 1893 took a brief delay after our cleaning crew got a late start servicing the aircraft. The aircraft did not require any cleaning beyond our standard practices, and we refute the speculation that any of our customers were the cause of the delay. We started the boarding process immediately after the cleaning service ended and the flight arrived in San Francisco just 14 minutes behind schedule.
I suspect someone at the Cleveland Browns did not like this story.
However, I asked United if it disputes that both a gate agent at Washington Dulles and pilot claimed the aircraft was “trashed” and received no reply.
The original story is below.
United Airlines passengers in Washington Dulles encountered a flight delay on their San Francisco flight, with a gate agent blaming a professional football team in Cleveland for “trashing” the aircraft.
United Airlines Flight Delayed Thanks To Cleveland Browns
As noted on FlyerTalk, UA1893 was delayed out of Washington Dulles (IAD) last night, July 30, 2023. Gate agents blamed the delay on a “trashed” 757-300, further explaining that it had been used as a charter aircraft for a professional sports team.
Using United’s flight tracking software, it was not hard to find out which sports team was involved. The aircraft had come in from Cleveland earlier that day:
Prior to Cleveland, it had flown from Greenbriar, West Virginia, where the Cleveland Browns have a training camp:
Onboard, the pilot apologized “multiple times saying it was the most disgusting he’s seen a plane in his career.” Special menus with the Cleveland Browns logo were found in seatback pockets. It was further explained that the aircraft was full of “garbage, spilled food and drink everywhere, etc.”
United has a busy charter business for professional sports teams (and faced some controversy a few years back when certain sports teams allegedly requested young, white, blonde girls to serve as flight attendants).
There are a few questions, I have though:
- The flight operated from Cleveland (CLE) to Washington (IAD) as UA2553 – it appears this was an empty leg, but why? Was the charter so last-minute that the aircraft had to wastefully be ferried between a United focus city (and former hub) and a United hub?
- Why wasn’t the aircraft cleaned in CLE, where it sat for 2.5 hours, or in IAD, where it sat for more than four hours, prior to the IAD-SFO flight?
- Do sports teams always trash planes?
The flight ultimately took off 36 minutes late, arriving in San Francisco (SFO) 14 minutes late:
Charter menus typically look like this:
A United Airlines flight was delayed after the Cleveland Browns trashed it. It does seems there were a couple of missed opportunities to clean the plane which would have avoided a delay, but even so it strikes me as disgusting that a sports team would trash up a commercial airplane to such a degree that a pilot would say it was the worst he had ever seen his entire career.