Jet diverts to Shannon over ‘potential safety risk’

A transatlantic jet diverted to Shannon Airport this afternoon after the crew reported that a laptop had become lodged in an ‘inaccessible location’ posing a potential safety risk to the flight.

United Airlines flight UA-12, which was travelling from Zurich in Switzerland to Chicago in the United States, was about 800 kilometres northwest of Mayo when the crew turned around. There were 157 passengers and 10 crew on board.

It’s understood that cabin crew staff were advised of the issue but were unable to retrieve the laptop so the flight crew contacted air traffic controllers in Shannon to request clearance to divert and have the device safely retrieved.


The flight made a U-turn and rerouted to Shannon where the airport’s Fire and Rescue Service was placed on standby after the crew also confirmed they would be making an overweight landing.

The flight landed at 1.42pm and was followed down the runway by airport fire crews who remained with the aircraft until it reached the terminal building.

At the terminal, ground handling crews and aircraft engineers were also standing by for the jet. Engineers boarded the aircraft and to see if they could retrieve the battery.

The flight had been expected to resume its journey at 2.39pm but was later cancelled. Passengers were deboarded and directed to the transit lounge while arrangements were made to transport them to hotels for the night.

A spokesperson for the airline confirmed: “United flight 12 scheduled from Zurich to Chicago landed safely in Shannon to address a potential safety risk caused by a laptop being stuck in an inaccessible location. We’re working quickly to get customers to their final destination.”