United Airlines flight to New York diverted to Dublin due to medical issue and disruption


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A suspected medical issue and a disruptive passenger on board caused a flight from Brussels to New York to divert to Dublin Airport.

United Airlines flight UA998, which took off from Brussels and was scheduled to land at Newark Airport, was unexpectedly redirected to Dublin on Monday afternoon. The decision to divert the flight was made in response to reports of a medical emergency and a passenger causing significant disruption, necessitating immediate attention and intervention.

Upon the aircraft’s arrival in Dublin, a comprehensive emergency response was initiated. The Gardaí were promptly notified to address the situation, while personnel from the National Ambulance Service and the Health Service Executive (HSE) were on standby to provide medical assistance and ensure the well-being of the affected passengers.


Kevin Cullinane, deputy director of communications at Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), the operator of Dublin Airport, confirmed that “appropriate protocols” were implemented to manage the dual incidents effectively. The response team was prepared to handle both the medical emergency and the behavioral issue with the utmost care and professionalism.

In a statement to the press, Mr. Cullinane elaborated: “Flight UA998 from Brussels to New York’s Newark Airport was diverted to Dublin Airport this afternoon due to reports of two separate incidents — a disruptive passenger and a suspected medical issue — on board. Our team coordinated closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that all necessary measures were taken to safeguard the health and safety of everyone on board.”

Smooth operations despite disruption

Dublin Airport Operations and airport police implemented comprehensive protocols to ensure the safe and efficient arrival of the aircraft. Upon landing, the aircraft was met by a coordinated response team that included gardaí, National Ambulance Service personnel, and HSE representatives, ready to address any medical and security issues promptly.

In a statement, Dublin Airport reassured the public that there is “no impact on operations” and advised passengers traveling this evening to “plan to arrive at the airport as normal.” The airport emphasized that normal operations continue uninterrupted despite the unexpected diversion.

A spokesperson for the HSE explained that they are unable to comment on individual cases to protect the privacy and confidentiality of those involved, underscoring the organization’s commitment to patient confidentiality and privacy.

The statement elaborated that today, the HSE National Ambulance Service and HSE Public Health undertook appropriate investigations at Dublin Airport, adhering to established protocols in partnership with Dublin Airport, An Garda Síochána, and Airport Police. This coordinated approach ensured that all necessary health and safety measures were in place.

The statement further explained that Public Health and the National Ambulance Service managed this incident in accordance with national public health guidelines. Departments of Public Health are responsible for responding to notified cases of suspected infectious diseases, conducting thorough risk assessments, and implementing control measures as required to protect public health.

This incident highlights the efficiency and readiness of the response teams at Dublin Airport, demonstrating their ability to handle emergencies with professionalism and care, ensuring minimal disruption to airport operations and maintaining the safety and well-being of all passengers and staff.

Prompt services by authorities

A United Airlines spokesperson provided additional details, stating: “United flight 998 from Brussels to New York/Newark was diverted and landed safely in Dublin on Monday due to an incident involving a disruptive passenger. In a separate situation, a medical emergency was identified concerning a different passenger on board.

Upon landing, medical personnel in Ireland conducted thorough investigations and assessed the situation. They cleared the flight to continue after addressing the issues at hand. This involved the removal of the disruptive passenger, the ill passenger, and another individual traveling with the ill passenger. Following these actions, the flight was cleared for departure and has since re-departed for New York/Newark.

The professionalism of the medical staff and the cooperation with Dublin Airport authorities facilitated a prompt resolution, allowing the flight to continue its journey with minimal delay.

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