United Airlines plane
A United Airlines aircraft (file photo) Reuters

Technical faults, poor weather conditions and unruly passengers have all caused flights to be delayed at some stage. However, some 200 passengers experienced the same fate when a stewardess on their flight forgot her mobile phone.

The bizarre incident unfolded on Wednesday (7 February) when United Airlines flight 1789 from Calgary to Houston left Calgary International Airport over 90 minutes behind schedule.

"United flight 1789 traveling from Calgary to Houston experienced a slight delay due to the crew needing to print out paperwork normally accessible on mobile devices," the airline said in a statement.

The flight eventually landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston at 6pm local time (12am GMT), having been scheduled to arrive at 4.24pm instead.

Trevor Bors, who flies the route once a month for work, told Texas-based broadcaster KHOU 11 News that initially passengers saw the funny side of the incident.

"There are weather delays and mechanical delays," he was quoted as saying.

"You kind of put up with that. They came over the PA and said that there was going to be a delay, because the flight attendant had lost her cell phone, and she thought that it was at the hotel. Everybody was just kind of almost chuckling. It's, like, well, if I left my cell phone, they certainly wouldn't wait for me."

However, it quickly ceased to be a laughing matter after cabin crew declined to offer further explanations over the nature of the delay.

"They never bothered to explain it to us, and I think what most people were looking for was just an explanation," Bors added.