Passenger Awoke on Plane to Find Herself Alone

Woman searched for an escape from the cold, dark plane
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2019 9:21 AM CDT
Passenger Awoke on Plane to Find Herself Alone
Air Canada said it is investigating why a flight crew left a passenger behind in a plane parked on a tarmac.   (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

On an uncrowded flight from Quebec City to Toronto, Tiffani Adams decided to take advantage of an empty row of seats and take a nap. When she awoke, the plane was pitch dark, CTV reports, and she was the only person on the plane. The plane was parked far from the terminal in Toronto, and flight crew had left her behind, CTV reports. "I wake up around midnight, few hours after [the] flight landed, freezing cold still strapped in my seat in complete darkness," Adams said in a post on the airline's Facebook page. Adams wrote that she first tried to charge her phone so she could call for help, but couldn't because the plane had been powered down. Panic set in, she said, "because I want off this nightmare ASAP."

Adams found a flashlight and tried to catch the attention of workers on the tarmac. She was able to open a door, she wrote, but "now I’m facing a 40-50ft drop to the pavement below." A baggage attendant eventually saw her light and brought a ladder truck. The airline offered her a ride home and has apologized. Air Canada also said it is investigating. Adams says she's still bothered by the incident: "I haven't got much sleep since the reoccurring night terrors and waking up anxious and afraid I'm alone locked up someplace dark," she wrote, per NPR. The baggage handler told her he couldn't understand how it happened, and Adams said she couldn't, either. "When my seat (is) an inch back or my tray down flight crew take notice," she wrote, per CTV, "but yet you missed a person still strapped into her seat and just all go on home?" (A flight in Italy had only one passenger.)

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