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Houston-bound flight returns to London after reaching Canada due to technical problem

A British Airways service from London to Texas turned around just as the plane reached North America, forcing passengers to endure a nine-hour flight to nowhere.

Flight records show the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, bound for George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, had just crossed the Canadian border before turning back Monday.

British Airways later said the turnaround was a precautionary measure due to a “minor technical issue” and apologized to the flight’s customers.

The exact cause of the problem has not been specified by British Airways, but several media reports have indicated that it was linked to the plane’s engines.

The flight left London Heathrow at 9.27am BST on Monday and landed again at the same airport at 6.54am the next day, a total of nine hours and 27 minutes of flight time.

Flight records show the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, bound for Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, had just crossed the Canadian border before turning back on Monday (PA Archive)Flight records show the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, bound for Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, had just crossed the Canadian border before turning back on Monday (PA Archive)

Flight records show the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, bound for Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, had just crossed the Canadian border before turning back on Monday (PA Archive)

Similar, successful flights to Houston only take 30-40 minutes longer on average.

The independent understands that the problem was not serious enough for the plane to be grounded immediately, but required inspection and possible engineering work.

Rather than grounding in Houston or another US airport, the flight returned to London where British Airways has technicians and resources to resolve the problem.

A statement from British Airways said: “The flight returned to London Heathrow as a precautionary measure due to a minor technical problem. It landed safely and customers disembarked normally.

“We have apologized to our customers for the disruption to their travel.”

The independent understands that all passengers have been reassigned to alternate flights to Houston, including missed connecting flights in the United States.

Hotel accommodation and information on how to claim any additional expenses were also provided.