United flight to SFO makes U-turn after crew fall sick from food poisoning

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A United Airlines flight bound for San Francisco International Airport (SFO) had to divert to Incheon International Airport (ICN) after the flight crew became ill from food poisoning. 

Flight UA 806 departed Incheon Airport at around 11:36 local time on May 19, 2024. However, less than four hours into the flight, when the B777-200 aircraft reached the northeast region of Japan, it made a U-turn and headed back to Incheon Airport.

According to Korean media outlet the Chosun Ilbo, the official reason for the flight’s turnaround was marked as “other matters”, a category which could include problems such as food poisoning among crew members. Pilots and co-pilots are given different meals during flights for this reason. 

Although it is not clear how the crew became struck down with food poisoning, the Chosun Ilbo reported that there is some speculation that the crew may have eaten a meal together before flying. 

A passenger who was on the flight was able to take video footage of the moment a flight attendant announced the diversion. 

A flight attendant can be heard delivering the news, her shaky voice and delivery suggesting that she might be feeling unwell.

The flight landed safely at Incheon Airport at 15:57 local time. 

A United Airlines spokesperson told the Chosun Ilbo: “Flight UA806 was diverted due to food poisoning among the captain and crew”. 

The spokesperson added that the airline is investigating the cause of the incident. 

There were no reports of passengers from flight UA 806 falling ill or experiencing symptoms of food poisoning. 

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