United, Alaska Planes Fall Down Go Boom At LAX

Filed Under: Alaska, United

It’s well-documented that Ben has a bit of a concern about “things that go bump in the night” in his hotel rooms. To the list of “things that go bump in the night,” we can now add… a United 757 and an Alaska Airlines 737.

As LAist reports, shortly before 8 p.m. last night, as United flight 1199 from Newark to Los Angeles was paused while taxiing to its gate in Terminal 7, Alaska flight 543 pushed back from its gate and directly into the path of the 757’s wingspan.

The wings of the two planes clipped, and passengers on each plane report hearing and feeling an enormous jolt, as would be expected. Evidently, the planes were “stuck together” for a short time, in what must be just the most awkward moment. Luckily, there were no injuries, and passengers were unloaded from each of the planes.

It seems the airplanes themselves suffered some injuries, however, with damage to the right stabilizer of the United plane and the left winglet of the Alaska 737.

It’s something of a United-Alaska merger neither airline anticipated. As expected, passengers tweeted up a storm.


Apparently the United captain made an announcement to the passengers as follows:

Thanks for your patience. I’m sure you’ll hear all about this on the news this evening. Essentially, we stopped short of the gate because parking guides were expected and the aircraft behind us continued to push back from their gate, and the two aircraft met at the same point and at the same time.

“The two aircraft met at the same point and at the same time.”


Oh, officer, I didn’t cause that car accident, it’s just that our two vehicles met at the same point and at the same time!

Anyway, it’s certainly fortunate that this incident wasn’t more serious, that no one was hurt and that it seemed to happen at an off-hour for LAX with relatively minor impacts on airport operations.

But in the meantime, if you live anywhere near this Alaska Airlines pilot, be careful when he backs out of his driveway in the mornings!

  1. There is a high level of snark in the headline and story…not even sure if it is appropriate subject wise for this site as it has zero to do with the reason people come here. The snark leads one to believe there is an anti-United or Alaskan airline bias which is possible but makes me glad this blog wasn’t around when Alaskan airline flight 261 in 2000 and United flight 93 in 2001 fell down and went “boom.”

  2. This post must have been way funnier when you read it in your own head, Nick. Major case of humor-lost-in-translation.

  3. What happened to the pictures? And a minor ground incident shouldn’t be advertised as Falling Down and going boom ☺

  4. Wrong conclusion! Ground services fail, no fault to either pilot. Wing walkers should have communicated to the tug driver to stop when they saw that the two aircraft MIGHT contact. Good job Menzies!

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