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Passengers hoped this ‘time traveling’ flight would give them two New Year’s Eves – but they arrived in the wrong year

A United Airlines flight landing at the Brussels airport in Belgium on June 13, 2023.Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

Passengers on a United Airlines flight hoping to travel back in time for New Year’s got off to an unfortunate start in 2024.

Flight UA200 was originally scheduled to depart Guam at 7:35 a.m. on January 1, 2024, and land in Honolulu, Hawaii at 6:50 p.m. on December 31, 2023 – traveling across time zones to take passengers back a year.

“You only live once, but you can celebrate New Year’s Eve twice!” United Airlines had tweeted earlier that week. In a separate Instagram post about Flight UA200, it wrote: “Time travel is real.”

Time zone jumping for New Year’s isn’t a new practice – each year, a handful of flights offer passengers a chance to re-do their New Year’s Eve celebrations, with airline crews sometimes marking the occasion multiple times in a single route.

But those on UA200 were in for disappointment. The flight was delayed – ultimately departing Guam at 1:49 p.m. on January 1, and arriving in Honolulu at 12:34 a.m. on January 1, missing the countdown.

Several passengers voiced their complaints on X, formerly Twitter, afterward.

“Great idea, too bad it got delayed! I was supposed to be on this flight. Double new year isn’t happening anymore,” one person wrote under the original United Airlines tweet.

“I booked this flight specifically so I could do this,” read another comment. “I got a delay notification and we aren’t scheduled to get in until 1/1.”

The airline responded on X by offering passengers rebooking assistance.

Passengers on other punctual flights had better luck – for instance, Cathay Pacific’s flight CX872, which departed Hong Kong just past 1 a.m. on January 1 and arrived in San Francisco at 8:22 p.m. December 31; and All Nippon Airways’ flight NH106, which departed Tokyo at 12:48 a.m. January 1 and landed in Los Angeles at 5:12 p.m. December 31.

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