Air Canada Passenger Wakes Up Locked in Empty, Dark Plane After Falling Asleep Mid-Flight
The woman claimed she woke up just before midnight on a "freezing cold" plane with no power
A passenger who was getting some shut eye on a recent Air Canada flight woke up to find herself in a nightmare scenario.
Tiffani O’Brien was traveling from Quebec City to Toronto after a weekend trip, when she fell asleep mid-flight. When she woke up hours later still buckled in her seat, she says she was completely alone and the plane was “freezing cold” and “pitch black,” according to a Facebook post shared by a woman who identifies herself as O’Brien’s friend.
“I got super comfy reading my book, happy I scored my row all to myself (flight was about 1/4 full). I fell asleep probably less than halfway through my short 1.5 hour flight. I wake up around midnight (few hours after flight landed) freezing cold still strapped in my seat in complete darkness (I’m talking pitch black),” O’Brien wrote in a comment posted to Air Canada’s page by her friend Deanna Noel-Dale, who she had been visiting in Quebec and who shared the full story on her behalf (identifying O’Brien as Tiffani Adams).
“When my seat [is] an inch back or my tray down flight crew take notice but yet you missed a person still strapped into her seat and all go on home?!?!” she wrote.
A representative for Air Canada tells PEOPLE the airline is “still reviewing this matter” and has “no additional details to share, but we have followed up with the customer and remain in contact with her.”
O’Brien explained that she tried to FaceTime Noel-Dale as soon as she awoke, but her phone’s battery died.
She also notes that she has an “anxiety disorder” that exacerbated the frightening ordeal. “I can tell you how terrifying this was.”
“I’m trying to focus on my breathing and control my panic attack while I attempt to charge my phone by plugging it into every USB port I could find,” she wrote. “No luck bc when they shut the aircraft down there is no power whatsoever. I’m full on panicking bc I want off this nightmare asap.”
O’Brien then said she made her way up the cockpit where she attempted to use the plane’s communication system, but the radio and walkie talkies didn’t work. Eventually she found a flashlight and tried to use it to signal for help.
“I’m making some flashy sos signals out the windows hoping someone sees me,” she wrote.
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Using the flashlight, she claims she was able to get the main cabin door open, only to find herself 40 to 50 feet above the ground.
She writes that she was hanging out of the door trying to get the airport ground crew’s attention. Finally, after “literally dangling” her legs out of the plane, she saw a crew member on a luggage cart driving toward her.
“He is in shock asking how the heck they left me on the plane,” she wrote. “I’m wondering the same.”
O’Brien said she was then able to use a ladder to climb down, and was met by Air Canada representatives, who offered her a limo and a hotel, but she says she declined both because she wanted to go home and had work in the morning.
During calls with the airline on Monday and Tuesday, she claims representatives Air Canada asked her to recount her bizarre experience and told her “they will do an investigation bc they have checks in place that should prevent people from being locked on the aircraft at night,” she wrote.
Ten days after the incident, O’Brien said she has been unable to sleep because she has been having “reoccurring night terrors” and keeps “waking up anxious and afraid I’m alone locked up some place dark.”
Air Canada responded to the Facebook post, writing that they were “very concerned” and promising to “look into it,” according to the Associated Press. The post has received more than 800 comments as of midday Monday.