United Airlines 737-900 Returns to Chicago With Pressurization Problem

A United Airlines 737-900ER taking off.
BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A United Airlines Boeing 737-900 operating from Chicago to San Francisco made a precautionary return to Chicago after experiencing a cabin pressurization issue on 3 July 2024.

United Airlines flight UA343, a Boeing 737-900 out of Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) reported a cabin pressurisation problem whilst still in the climb after departing from Chicago.

United Airlines UA343 Chicago-San Francisco

The climb was terminated and the descent made to 10,000 feet. Flight crew then negotiated a direct return to Chicago O’Hare.

The flight subsequently landed without further incident approximately one hour after its initial departure.

The FAA subsequently confirmed the incident, stating that the aircraft returned to Chicago O’Hare International Airport where it landed around noon local time on Wednesday, July 3.

The aviation regulator confirmed that it would now investigate the reported pressurization issue resulting in the division at reduced altitude.

Flight Details

Flight data shows that United flight UA343 had departed Chicago at 11:01 local time, bound for San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

The flight had set course normally and climbed to flight level FL280 (28,000 feet), before flight crew discontinued the climb.

The aircraft was transiting Illinois airspace near Moline when the return course for Chicago was initiated.

Having descended to 10,000 feet due to the pressurization problem, the flight then continued at reduced altitude to Chicago O’Hare.

A replacement aircraft was mustered to carry out the onwards service to San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

A United Airlines 737-900ER taking off.
BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

All the aircraft conducting the UA343 service to San Francisco was a Boeing 737-900ER, registered N69830. This is a 10.1 year old narrowbody aircraft belonging to the US carrier United Airlines.

It has been in operational service with the airline since its initial delivery in June 2014.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 2 Min Read
2 Min Read
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