Jennifer Aniston Says Her 'Fear of Flying' Kicked in During Emergency Landing on Birthday Trip
Jennifer Aniston has a “real fear of flying,” which didn’t help when she found herself in the middle of an emergency while on her way to Mexico to celebrate her 50th birthday.
The Murder Mystery actress’ best friends surprised her with a getaway to Mexico to celebrate her birthday earlier this year, including Friends costar Courteney Cox and Jimmy Kimmel‘s wife and former Live! head writer Molly McNeary. But things quickly went sour when the plane was about to take off.
“We heard an explosion, which sounded like a pothole if it was a car big enough to go over the Grand Canyon. It was so loud,” Aniston recalled on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday night. “I have a real fear of flying, obviously, but nobody else does. So Courteney Cox, whose father is a pilot and is never afraid, says, ‘Should we have checked that? Is everything okay?’ They were like, No, no, it’s taxiing, it’s going smoothly.”
The group took off, only for the flight attendant to approach Aniston two hours in and ask her to talk to the pilots, making her worst fear a reality.
“I turned to my best friend and said, ‘Would you go talk to the pilot?’ Because there’s no way this [points at panicked face] is going to go talk to the pilot,’ ” Aniston recalled. “Then 10 minutes later she comes out and she says, ‘We’ve turned around, we’re actually going back to California. They found some debris from a wheel on the runway. They think it’s from our plane.’ “
Aniston said the group all of a sudden started texting “their spouses and their children and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ ”
The plane eventually made a safe landing back in Ontario, California and the group caught another plane to Cabo San Lucas the next day. A statement released by the airport revealed there were problems with the plane’s landing gear.
“A Gulfstream aircraft with 10 passengers and two flight crew members on board landed without incident at Ontario International Airport (ONT) after experiencing landing gear difficulty,” the statement read.
The news came almost a week after the Friends actress celebrated her birthday with pals, including Cox, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, George and Amal Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr., Ellen DeGeneres, Barbra Streisand, Keith Richards, Laura Dern, Demi Moore and Lisa Kudrow— as well as Aniston’s ex-husband Brad Pitt.
“Basically, every single person who Jen loves attended. That included Brad,” a source told PEOPLE of the star-studded bash, which included multiple pairs of exes. “The party was a celebration of Jen’s life.”
Murder Mystery, costarring Adam Sandler, starts streaming on Netflix June 12.