SIA Plane Filled With Passengers Stuck in Shanghai Airport for 8 Hours Only For Flight to be Cancelled


Stuck in The Cabin At Shanghai Pudong Airport

If you’re anything like me, flying is a stressful enough experience as is. 

Even if you were to comfort me with the jello theory a thousand times, I might still have a panic attack and cry. 

But this experience was made worse for passengers on Singapore Airlines flight SQ833 as they were trapped in the plane for eight hours at Shanghai Pudong Airport, only for their flight to be cancelled. 

Trapped in The Plane With No Air-Conditioning

The first of two Facebook posts from user Annie Li emerged on 7 September around half past midnight, as she said she and other passengers had been trapped in their plane for eight hours. 

Their flight was scheduled to depart at 4:50 p.m., and land at around 10.20 p.m., but at 12:30 p.m., the Singapore Airlines flight was still left on the tarmac. 

According to a flightpath tracker Flightradar24, the plane taxied around the runway before returning to its gate. 


She later commented, saying that it was a technical issue that caused this. 

Image: Facebook (Annie Li)

She stated that they turned off the engine twice for more than two hours and kept everyone in the cabin while they tried to fix the issue. 

In Ms Li’s video, adults and children alike appear to be very restless as people were seen fanning themselves with what might be the airline’s safety cards. 

Image: Facebook (Annie Li)

There was “no air-conditioning and not enough air circulation” in the plane, according to Ms Li. 

An SIA spokesperson said, “For safety reasons, the ground power had to be disabled while the checks were going on.”

Some commenters under Ms Li’s post were confused about why passengers could not disembark for such a long time.

Image: Facebook (Annie Li)
Image: Facebook (Annie Li)

The airline said that “this was done to facilitate a quicker departure” if on-site engineers could resolve the issues. 

However, they “recognise that the customers could have been allowed to leave the aircraft earlier” and apologised, mentioning that they would review their procedures to avoid a similar situation.

Free Food was Distributed as Passengers Waited

According to a user on the social media platform XiaoHongShu, several meals were given to customers during the eight-hour wait. 

Image: XiaoHongShu (Sandy龙✨)

The meals included satay, some sort of quinoa dish with prawns, and a salmon dish. 

Image: XiaoHongShu (Sandy龙✨)

Flight Eventually Cancelled as Technical Issue Remained Unresolved

Ms Li posted a second “complaint post” at 1:46 a.m., depicting a long queue after the passengers finally exited the cabin. 

She noted in said post that only two ground staff members were trying to manage the crowd of “hundreds of people” trying to retrieve their luggage. 

The flight was eventually cancelled as the airline deemed that more time was needed to fix the technical issue. 


According to SIA, hotel accommodation was arranged for the affected passengers and all customers were rebooked on other flights on 7 September 2023. 

They have all since departed from Shanghai.

Many commenters under Ms Li’s posts expressed their shock, but some quickly found the silver lining in the situation – claiming travel insurance.

Image: Facebook (Annie Li)

If that isn’t the most Singaporean response.

For those who are unaware, many travel insurance plans offer compensation for flights that are delayed for more than six hours – a reminder of the importance of travel insurance you should remember for your next trip.