Newark passengers spend hours frozen on sub-zero tarmac

These folks definitely do NOT want to build a snowman.

Frozen passengers on a United Airlines flight from Newark to Hong Kong spent 14 hours trapped in a frigid cabin as their plane sat in sub-zero temperatures on a Canadian tarmac — only to be returned to New Jersey just in time for more bone-chilling weather.

The mercury plunged to -31.7 degrees overnight at Newfoundland’s Goose Bay Airport Saturday, and winds blustered at up to 31 miles per hour as passengers huddled in the Boeing 777-200, which got a door stuck open on the ground after making an emergency landing.

United Airlines Flight 179 left the Garden State at 3:03 p.m. Saturday en route to relatively balmy Hong Kong International Airport — where the highs have been in the mid-60s — but only made it as far as Greenland before pilots had to pull a U-turn and touch down at Goose Bay Airport due to a sick passenger, officials said.

But the medical emergency was only the tip of the iceberg — once the plane was ready to depart, crews couldn’t get an emergency door shut and had to delay the take-off, according to United.

Minutes turned to hours as the aircraft sat frozen while workers tried to fix the door — but passengers were not allowed to leave the chilly plane because Goose Bay is a Royal Canadian Air Force base and had no customs officer on duty to process passengers, a United rep said.

“Hour 7 of Vacation: Stuck in Goose Bay, New Foundland for a few hours. Any recs on things to do?????” passenger Steven Lau tweeted at 9:45 p.m.

And so customers had to weather the long delay inside the plane, where tensions ran high while temperatures — and food — ran low, according to one passenger.

“Please help us. This is an emergency @united. People are not doing well. Running low on food,” tweeted pro wrestler Retesh Bhalla, who goes by his ring name Sonjay Dutt around 5:30 a.m. Sunday.

Airport workers eventually showed up with coffee and donuts from Canadian staple Tim Horton’s Sunday morning, and a rescue plane sent from Newark eventually picked up the stranded travelers — only to bring them back to New Jersey, where the temperatures were plunging from a high of 41 degrees Sunday toward an expected low of 13 degrees.

The return flight was delayed by about 50 minutes, according to flight-tracking service Flight Aware.

“We apologize to our customers and our crew is doing everything possible to assist them during the delay,” a United spokeswoman said.

Customers will be offered meals, hotel accommodations, reimbursement and compensation for the nightmare delay, but the spokeswoman would not provide specifics.

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