If you’ve watched the news or doomed scrolled social media recently, then you’ve probably seen the tornadoes wreaking havoc on the Midwest. What you might not have seen was the insane video of a tornado coming awfully close to the Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA) on Friday.

A United Airlines plane was stuck on the tarmac on Friday when a tornado came through Omaha.What’s even scarier is seeing a United Airlines plane filled with passengers stuck on the OMA tarmac. A video posted to Instagram shows what it looked like from the terminal and from inside the plane. See video below:

According to a @aflyguytravels, who reposted the video, “several buildings and planes were damaged by the twister. Fortunately, there were no injuries.”

Can you imagine being a passenger, flight attendant or pilot seeing this and knowing there’s nowhere to go? If I was piloting, I probably would have panicked and took off in the opposite direction immediately instead of rolling the dice and hoping it didn’t come our way. But kudos to the crew for doing the right thing if he was lucky.

What’s even crazier is that United’s operations and/or the airport’s air traffic controllers allowed the plane to be on the runway. You would think that with today’s technology, they would know there’s a high risk of a tornado and not take the chance.

I spoke to a friend of mine who is a commercial airline pilot and she said, “they were probably stuck because they shut down the ramp when there’s lightning so there’s no one to guide them to the gate, no jetway driver. It has happened to me several times, regional flying in Midwest/ Northeast for bad thunderstorms. I also landed in Denver right before a tornado hit but luckily we were at the gate in time.”

I’ve somewhat witnessed a tornado three times in my life. Once, I was at the Hyatt at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and the sirens went off. I recorded what the warning was like and how nonchalant people were as we made our way to a ballroom where the shelter was (video below). I remember running down the stairwell while one lady was just taking her time, walking with her friend with a drink in her hand. I almost plowed them over.

YouTube video

Another time, I was flying from Los Angeles to Denver and the captain got on the public address system and told passengers that they’d closed the Denver airport because of a tornado so we’d have to circle. It’s no fun circling and especially not when there’s a tornado below. The pilot later got on the horn and said we’d be diverting to Colorado Springs since were low on fuel. As we got close to landing, I felt the plane make another U-turn and he got back on the PA and said, “Good news, they just reopened the DEN airport.”

When we landed (and whenever I’m in DEN), I now always notice those tornado shelter signs on the airport restrooms. I don’t think I had noticed them prior.

The third incident was at my sister’s house in Erie, Pennsylvania. I looked out at the lake and saw what looked like a tornado coming our way. I almost choked on my breakfast. I later learned they call tornados over the water ‘waterspouts’. Whatever they call them, they’re scary and I don’t want to see another, especially when I’m on a plane.

Have you ever witnessed a tornado or waterspout? Leave a comment!


My Terrifying Hotel Fire Experience and What I Learned from It
This Portable Safe Helps Keep Your Valuables Safe
How Much to Tip Housekeeping & Make Sure They Get It
Think Before Leaving Your Toothbrush out in Your Hotel Room
Why You Should Always Lock The Deadbolt While In A Hotel Room

Want more travel news, tips and deals? Sign up to Johnny Jet’s free newsletter and check out these popular posts: The Travel Gadget Flight Attendants Never Leave Home Without and 12 Ways to Save Money on Baggage Fees. Follow Johnny Jet on MSNFacebook, InstagramPinterest, and YouTube for all of my travel posts.

1 Comment On "Yikes: United Airlines flight stuck on tarmac during a tornado"
  1. Marlin|

    it’s never good to be fearful and panic in those situations. Get to shelter, but not in a panick and be mindful of others around you. And yes I live in the Midwest, plenty of tornado situations in my life.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *