A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop
United Airlines is one of the two American companies that operates Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners | Photo: Reuters Reuters

A United Airlines flight from Florida was forced to make an emergency landing after an open door indicator light illuminated mid-air.

The incident happened on Wednesday (Jan. 10) after United Flight 2434, heading to Chicago, took off from Sarasota, Florida and light came on. That forced pilots to alert dispatchers and reroute the plane to the next closest airport, which was in Tampa, according to reports in the local media.

The plane departed Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport at 3:42 PM on Wednesday and was diverted to Tampa International Airport, where it landed safely at 4:35 PM, according to flight tracking website Flight Aware.

There were a total of 123 passengers and five crew members on board. The aircraft made the emergency landing "as a precaution this afternoon to address a possible mechanical issue," a United Airlines spokesperson said, reported New York Post.

The report further stated that the airline did not reveal if the emergency landing happened because of an open door light. But a Tampa International Airport spokesperson claimed its dispatchers received a call about the open door light issue and then runway space was requested for the emergency landing.

Less than a week ago, Alaska Airlines flight 1282 from Portland, Oregon, experienced a shocking malfunction when the plane lost its plug door in mid-air, tearing headrests off seats and sucking items out of the aircraft. The flight was en route to Honolulu, Hawaii.

When the plug door was sent flying into the air at 16,000 feet, it left a gaping hole on the side of the plane. The flight, which had 171 passengers and six crew members on board, made an emergency landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and no one was seriously hurt.

United Airlines is one of the two American companies that operates Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners — like the Alaska flight above mentioned. But the plane diverted to Tampa on Wednesday was an Airbus A319.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has grounded 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes "until operators complete enhanced inspections which include both left and right cabin door exit plugs, door components, and fasteners".

It is also understood that both United and Alaska Airlines have discovered loose hardware on a few of their planes within their fleet of Max 9s.

Earlier it was reported that a Virgin Atlantic flight, heading to Barbados, made an emergency landing in Manchester because "smoke" filled the cockpit minutes after take-off.

Flight VS77 on Sunday (Jan. 7) declared an emergency just 20 minutes after taking off from Manchester Airport at about 1 PM. The Airbus A330-300 carrier was over the Irish Sea when pilots squawked 7700 (general emergency) and turned it around to the origin airport.

The pilots supposedly informed Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) of "dense and acrid smell of smoke".