A passenger on Air Canada’s flight AC1799 from Quebec City to Toronto’s Pearson airport fell asleep on Sunday, June 9th. She kept sleeping through touch down, gate arrival, and all the other customers getting off the plane. She says that when she woke up, the plane had been towed away from the gate to be parked overnight. She was in a totally dark aircraft with no way off.
Her cell phone was out of battery and she couldn’t call for help. She opened the aircraft’s door but it was too treacherous a drop onto concrete to make it. Ultimately she flagged down a worker driving a baggage cart who went for help.
I was so overjoyed when I found a flashlight in the cockpit and I’m making some flashy sos signals out the windows hoping someone sees me.
Finally now that I have light I’m determined to unlock the door and save myself…felt like a champ when I got main door open (found all 3 latches w my lifesaver of a flashlight and open the door all the way
Now I’m facing a 40-50ft drop to the pavement below 😬 I hang out the door trying to get the attention of ground crew I can see Pearson’s lights but too far away I’m where the aircrafts park overnight there is no one around..
…I’m hanging out the door reflecting the flashlight off the side of the plane (figuring reflective exterior will catch someone’s attention in the distance) not sure how much time has passed bc no phone no nothing
When I see the luggage cart driving towards me I am literally dangling my legs out of the plane..he is in shock asking how the heck they left me on the plane. …Anyway the guy had the ladder dock and I jumped to safety before he was even a foot from the door..the Air Canada cars pull up drive me up to Pearson where I’m met by another Air Canada rep asking if I’m ok and would I like a limo and hotel.
Copyright: ronniechua / 123RF Stock Photo
I’ve been known to doze on on the ground during long waits to push back and taxi, but I’m always rustled away as we take off. I’ve never slept past touchdown so this is hard for me to imagine, but there are heavy sleepers out there. Goodness knows I’ve passed my stop on DC’s metro, but just because I was focused working never because I had fallen asleep.
This is a huge failure across the board. Everyone got off the plane, but no one noticed a passenger still seated – asleep. The crew left and didn’t notice. The plane was moved and no one noticed.
It’s hard to imagine the feeling of helplessness, being trapped in the dark with no way to contact anyone. What would you have done?