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Plane Diverted Due to … Coffee Spill

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A United Airlines flight from Chicago to Frankfurt was diverted to Toronto Monday night, not because of engine failure or a bomb threat, but because—wait for it—the pilot spilled coffee on the airplane’s communication device.

According to CNN, “The liquid triggered a series of emergency codes, including one for a hijacking, according to Transport Canada, the agency that regulates transportation in Canada.”

United has not offered any details about the incident, saying only that “Our review of the communications issue encountered on flight 940 continues, so it’s too soon to comment on any particulars that led to the captain’s decision to divert. But important to note the crew did maintain contact with controllers, and the decision to divert to Toronto was the captain’s.”

The flight was initially going to return to Chicago, but instead was diverted to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. United flew the passengers back to Chicago and put them on a different flight to Frankfurt on Tuesday.

You have to feel bad for the pilot, who has probably flown with a cup of coffee countless times without incident. But accidents happen, and when they involve airplanes being diverted, well, it’s national news. So, perhaps a cup with a lid next time?

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