No One was Hurt In Either Of The Flights
Cancun Airport saw two emergency landings take place within 24 hours on Monday, leaving passengers shaken and further frustrated when the ordeal was over. Both flights were international routes bound for the US and Canada.
The first of the two incidents involved an Air Transat plane bound for Toronto. The plane took off successfully at around 12 noon. Minutes after departure the captain informed the plane they had to turn around. Air traffic control was notified of the decision and braced for any possible eventuality, also known as a Code 2.
Luckily, in this instance, the plane landed successfully, and no passengers or crew were harmed. The exact problem has not been specified, but after checking the aircraft it was deemed safe to resume and the flight was undertaken two hours later. No statements were taken from the crew or passengers, and the flight safely arrived in Toronto.
The airport’s second incident was more dramatic and has been shared on social media by many of the passengers who were frustrated by the response to the problem.
The Delta flight bound for New York took off at around 6:25 PM and had been flying for nearly an hour and a half when problems arose in the cabin. Smoke was seen in the cabin prompting the assumption of fire somewhere on the plane. Despite being over an hour into the flight, Cancun was the safest option for the emergency landing and the plane turned around.
Several passengers shared scenes from onboard the flight as the attendant announced that the plane was to turn around. Once again, no statement was released by Cancun International Airport or ASUR, which operates the airport. The exact cause of the fire on board is currently unclear but the plane has since been fixed and reproved for operation.
A more serious problem for the passengers was the perceived response of the airline staff. Several of those on board the flight have since voiced their frustration at the situation. Claims suggest that the staff reacted poorly and appeared panicked.
One passenger stated on Twitter said, “Staff were unable to handle the situation, causing stress and many passengers being lowered into wheelchairs with anxiety. Flight attendants with panic in his voice shouldn’t use the loudspeakers”.
One user shared a video from the plane as the announcement was taking place. The voice pleads with the passengers not to panic, before explaining that the plane will land in Cancun soon and be met with the appropriate people. The attendant stuttered over his words several times, which may be what led to claims of staff being panicked. However, it should be noted that the accent was not American, so it may have been his second language. All the opinions of the passengers, in this case, are subjective to a high-stress situation.
One passenger claimed that the airline knew the plane needed to be repaired before takeoff, although this is an unverified claim. The passenger stated, “my flight leaving Cancun just filled with smoke mid-flight, the staff panicked everyone, was underprepared, I nearly passed out from the fumes and saw my life flash before my eyes, only to discovered they were aware the plane needed to be repaired before it even took off.”
Upon landing, the passengers were told they would be transferred to a hotel as the flight could not continue that evening. The airline staff had already met their legal limit for working hours. However, upon arrival at the hotel, it became apparent that there were no rooms available for the unexpected guests.
From there, it’s unclear where the passengers were moved to or if they were simply given an allotment for expenses but there was clear disappointment with the entire process.
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