Woman Nods Off During Flight Only to Awaken ‘Locked’ in ‘Freezing Cold’ Empty Plane

June 23, 2019 Updated: June 23, 2019

A female passenger who suffers from an anxiety disorder says she is struggling to cope with the ordeal of falling asleep on an Air Canada flight only to wake up in an empty plane, “freezing cold still strapped in my seat in complete darkness.”

“As someone with an anxiety disorder as is I can tell you how terrifying this was,” Tiffani Adams wrote in a message posted on Air Canada’s Facebook page.

Adams said in the post that what started as an unremarkable flight from Quebec City to Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada earlier this month turned what was “one of the best weekends I’ve ever had” into a nightmare.

“I fell asleep probably less than halfway through my short 1.5 hour flight,” she said the post.

She woke up several hours after landing only to find herself alone in the dark—”I’m talking pitch black,” she said—onboard a cold, empty plane.

“I think I’m having a bad dream,” she recounted in the post. “When my seat an inch back or my tray down flight crew take notice but yet you missed a person still strapped into her seat and just all go on home?!?!”

Panic Attack

Adams said she contacted her friend on FaceTime to get help but her phone died seconds into the call. When she could not charge it back up because “when they shut the aircraft down there is no power whatsoever,” Adams said she started to panic.

“I can’t charge my phone to call for help I’m full on panicking bc I want off this nightmare asap,” she wrote.

Luckily, she found a working flashlight and started to work on getting herself out of the locked airplane, saying she “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.”

But her joy at getting it open was short-lived as when she looked out the door, she found herself looking at around a 50-foot drop to the concrete tarmac below.

Adams said she sat with her legs dangling out of the aircraft while sending out distress signals with the flashlight.

She said she eventually flagged down an airport employee, who reportedly said he was “in shock” to see her.

“He [asked] how the heck they left me on the plane,” Adams wrote, adding, “I’m wondering the same.”

NPR reported that Adams said Air Canada representatives then offered her a ride home and later called twice to apologize.

“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 said.

An Air Canada spokesperson has confirmed the woman’s story to NPR, which reported that Canada’s flagship air carrier remains “in contact with her” about the ordeal.

‘Drunk and Disorderly’ Man Forces Flight to Divert

The case recalls another recent “nightmare” airline case of a different kind, that of an American Airlines flight from Pittsburgh to Dallas that was forced to make a detour to Oklahoma City because of an allegedly intoxicated and abusive passenger.

Police cited by Fox25 said American Airlines flight 2840 made a detour from its scheduled flightpath on June 16 after 32-year-old Brandon Ganus allegedly created such a commotion that the crew and passengers had to physically restrain him with plastic zip-ties and duct tape.

“He tried exiting out of the front door, and we stopped him, so we went to his seat and we turned on the lights bright. Then, him and the person next to him got into a brawl,” an American Airlines flight attendant told CBS.

“I left the handcuffs up front with the other flight attendants, in case anything happened, and we went at him at the same time,” a flight attendant told News9.

mugshot of suspect Brandon Ganus
Brandon Ganus faces numerous charges following his arrest onboard a flight from Pittsburgh to Dallas that had to be diverted to Oklahoma City on June 16 to due to his alleged disorderly conduct. (Oklahoma City Police Department)

The flight attendant said that when she tried to calm Ganus down, he flew into a rage and punched her in the chest.

After pilots landed the flight at its diverted location at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, officers boarded the plane to take Ganus into custody.

A police officer cited by Fox25 said that Ganus’s speech was slurred and he had “an odor of alcoholic beverage so overpowering that [the officer] easily detected long before [the officer] reached him.” Ganus was handcuffed and forcibly removed from the plane.

Officers said that as he was being led away, Ganus became upset and began yelling “colorful obscenities” and threats. He also resisted officers by dropping to the ground and had to be removed from the airport in a wheelchair, the outlet reported.

He was charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest, assault and battery, and disorderly conduct.

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