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Woman awoke on parked empty plane, alone in the dark

June 26, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A woman who nodded off on an airline flight woke in pitch dark to find the plane had landed, passengers had disembarked; the aircraft was empty, parked, very cold – and she was still strapped in to her seat.

The woman had been left behind, unnoticed.

The extraordinary case of Tiffani O’Brien, which happened aboard an Air Canada flight from Quebec City for Toronto, has airlines around the world pondering if such a mishap could happen to one of their own passengers.

O’Brien, who went to sleep midair, apparently slept in the plane for several hours while it was parked for the night, before waking in fright.

“I thought, ‘This is a nightmare,’” O’Brien told CTV News in Canada. “’This is not happening. I’m having a bad dream. Wake up, Tiffani.’”

Air Canada was quoted as saying it was reviewing the matter “but we have followed up with the customer and remain in contact with her”.

Air Canada tail

The incident happened earlier this month and O’Brien has since suffered “reoccurring night terrors,” according to a Facebook post, which her friend, Deanna Noel-Dale, shared to Air Canada’s official page.

“Long post – but crazy – my friend woke up on a plane and everyone was gone!! The plane didn’t have any power or even stairs to get off,” Noel-Dale’s Facebook post began.

Noel-Dale added later that she and O’Brien were declining to comment on the incident any further, citing advice from a lawyer.

After O’Brien woke up, she tried to summon help but couldn’t charge her phone because power to the plane had been cut off. She made her way to the cockpit where she tried using the “walky talky thingys” there to radio for help, but that didn’t work.

Air Canada Airbus A321-200

O’Brien was finally rescued by ground grew.

Australia’s ABC News looked into the story and phoned local carriers here. A spokesperson for Virgin Australia told the ABC that Virgin cabin crew were required to do a final, thorough check of each plane at the end of every flight. That’s reassuring.

Qantas and Jetstar declined to comment, the ABC said.

Written by Peter Needham

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