A passenger woke up to find herself locked in a cold, dark, and empty plane. This was hours after an Air Canada flight landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
Tiffani O’Brien was flying from Quebec City when she fell asleep reading her book on the 90-minute flight earlier this month.
O’Brien says she woke up hours after her flight landed, still strapped to her seat in “freezing cold” and “pitch black” surroundings.
She texted her friend Deanna Noel-Dale, panicking. “I just woke up alone in the plane,” said one text that O’Brien sent, according to CTV. “Omg.”
When she tries calling her friend through FaceTime, her phone suddenly dies. Scrambling, she looks to find a USB port to charge her phone, but can’t find a working one due to the plane being turned off.
O’Brien then makes her way to the cockpit and finds walkie-talkie devices. Finally, she finds a flashlight that she uses to motion for help out the windows and locate the door.
She then faces another dilemma: There’s no landing connecting O’Brien to the ground. She’s looking at a 40- to a 50-foot drop to the pavement.
O’Brien hangs out the door, desperate to get out, and starts using her flashlight to motion for help. Finally, she catches the attention of an employee driving a luggage cart, who helps her to the ground.
Since the incident, O’Brien writes in a Facebook post that she hasn’t “got much sleep,” stating that she has reoccurring night terrors and waking up anxious and afraid she’s alone locked up someplace dark.
Passengers’ rights attorney and former US Department of Transportation inspector general Mary F. Schiavo, tells BuzzFeed News that the incident is a significant security violation.
This isn’t the first incident regarding a passenger left inside a plane. In 2013, a Louisiana man was locked in a United Airlines plane that landed at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport after taking a nap during the flight.
Back in 2010, a British law professor was found asleep on an Air Canada Jazz plane in a hangar at Vancouver International Airport.
The same year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a Michigan woman who sued Trans States Airlines based on false imprisonment, after she found herself trapped in the cabin for more than three hours after the plane had landed.