The Washington Post

United flight makes an emergency landing after the evacuation slide deploys in mid-air

An emergency chute  inflated inside a United Airlines plane as it flew from Chicago to California on June 29, filling part of the cabin and forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing in Kansas. No one aboard the flight was injured. (Michael Schroeder via AP)

A United Airlines flight to California  made an emergency landing in Wichita, Kan., when the plane’s evacuation slide deployed in mid-flight Sunday.

The inflated slide burst into the rear of the cabin with a massive pop, terrifying passengers but causing no injuries.

“I heard this pop, I turned around and the slide was open,” a passenger, Michael Schroeder, told CNN.

The plane, a Boeing 737-700, was traveling from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., when the incident occurred. The aircraft was cruising at 40,000 feet when the slide deployed, according to United. It landed in Kansas less than two hours after take off, at 10:31 p.m. Central Time, according to

“The flight diverted to Wichita, Kansas, after the emergency evacuation slide accidentally deployed.  No one was injured and the flight landed safely,” according to a statement the airline issued on Monday. “We flew in another aircraft to resume the flight and get our customers to their final destination as quickly as possible.”

Schroeder also told the AP that the airline gave passengers a $300 travel credit for the scare.

In a similar incident last November, an emergency slide deployed on a JetBlue flight from Fort Meyers, Fla., to Boston, Mass.,  forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Orlando, Fla.

Abby Phillip is a national political reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at On Twitter: @abbydphillip
Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read
Failed to render /WEB-INF/jsp/features/most/sidebar/feature.jsp. Cause: An exception occurred processing JSP page /WEB-INF/jsp/features/most/sidebar/feature.jsp at line 116 113: ${globemail} 114: 115: 116: <%=list.get(0) %> 117: 118: 119: <%=list.get(1) %> Stacktrace:. See Server Logs for detail.



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.