OTOPS
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Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 1:14 pm

Tonight (may 10 2007) on my flight home from YQT to YYZ (AC 8544) the passenger sitting in front of me began panicking after push back and asked to be let off the plane! The a/c taxied back to the gate and the passenger deplaned. According to the flight attendant this was a first for her and the flight crew. Any one seen this happen before?

[Edited 2007-05-11 06:23:20]

[Edited 2007-05-11 06:24:34]
Airbus-A name that manages to make aviation sound uncool.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 1:19 pm

No, I never had, but one has to have concern and symphany for such a person. Perhaps some personal situation triggered a pshchogical reaction, further worsened by being in a small space.
 
PGNCS
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 1:30 pm

Quoting OTOPS (Thread starter):
According to the flight attendant this was a first for her and the flight crew. Any one seen this happen before?

Several times, yes.
 
ordpark
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 2:04 pm

Happens more often than you might imagine...people get claustrophobic sometimes when that door closes....better it happens on the ground than at fl360!
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 2:19 pm

Look at what happened to Lindsay Wagner (the Bionic Woman actress) she and her mother were on AA 191 and after pushback demanded to be let off the plane. They redocked and let them off.
Then look what happened!
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
afterburner
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 2:49 pm

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 4):
Then look what happened!

What did happen?
 
Analog
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 2:55 pm

Quoting Afterburner (Reply 5):

What did happen?

It crashed?
 
AlexPorter
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 3:05 pm

I've seen Marge Simpson do it on TV.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008
 
Toulouse
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 3:17 pm

Quoting OTOPS (Thread starter):
Any one seen this happen before?

Not leading to delaning, but yes I've seen several times when passengers panicked. I remember one very pretty girl getting very nervous on a domestic Spanish flight, the poor young woman was shaking like a leaf, and they ended up giving her some sort of tranquilizer. My brother-in-law went through a very claustrophic period many years ago, and I remember once my dad and myself were dropping my sister and him off at Dublin to fly to Malaga, and as aviation entusiasts we hung around. We went up to the restaurant that at that time had good views of the much smaller apron at DUB back then. An Aer Lingus 747 and another smaller Aer Lingus aircraft were parked side by side (if I remember correctly it was a BAC-111), it was the plane he would be taking and I naïvely pointed that out to him. He though it looked tine compared to the 747 and suddenly wanted to stay, we convinced he to go through to departures, and he did take the plane. I myself suffered from a panic disorder for a few years, and got very nervous flying. On a number of occassions at the boarding gate I considered not boarding, but always pushed myself. As I knew that after take off, I always calmed down. The last episode was only about 2 years ago on an Aer Lingus flight from BOD to DUB. I got more panicky than ever during atke off, was feeling sick, nearly crying and thought I was going to pass out. I was in the front row and called a F/A shortly after take-off (first time I'd ever done that), explaining I was feeling nervous and light-headed and could I have a coke (it often helps when one feels/thinks they're going to pass out). The F/A's couldn't have been kinder, didn't charge me for any of the drinks on that flight (we had already enetered the era of having to pay for drinks/food on European EI flights. Then he brought me an Irish Times to take my mind off thigs, only realising his error as he handed it to me as a there had been a plane accident the previous day and it was on thr front page. His face dropped as he realised. I explained to him that I was suffering more from panic/clautrophobia than a fear of flying and not to worry. Anyway, I calmed down and enjoyed the remainder of the flight. Thankfully this hasn't happene to me again.
And of course after an engine fire just after take-off from Frankfurt 7 years ago on an LH flight to DUB requiring an immediate return and emergency landing in Frankfurt, there were lots of very nervous/panicing passengers!

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 1):
No, I never had, but one has to have concern and symphany for such a person. Perhaps some personal situation triggered a pshchogical reaction, further worsened by being in a small space.

Very true.
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
LAXdude1023
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Fri May 11, 2007 3:43 pm

Quoting OTOPS (Thread starter):
Tonight (may 10 2007) on my flight home from YQT to YYZ (AC 8544) the passenger sitting in front of me began panicking after push back and asked to be let off the plane! The a/c taxied back to the gate and the passenger deplaned. According to the flight attendant this was a first for her and the flight crew. Any one seen this happen before?

Yes, once when I was little. I was traveling with my grandparents to London from LAX. About 4 hours into the flight my grandfather started talking to the stranger sitting next to us. He always liked to tease people (sometimes in a mean way). He said that he thought that he could say where the plane was glued together. He convinced the woman that the plane was held together by glue!!! She panicked and had to be tranquilized.

Haha, once when I was little he convinced me that the car was going to explode and wouldnt let me out!!! I cried and cried!!! I miss that dude!!! Big grin
It is what it is...
 
HBJZA
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 3:28 am

It happened to me at U2, on a GVA-NCE flight. During taxi a lady told me that she was feeling very bad about this flight and asked me to let her down the plane. I inform the captain, we went back to the gate, waited for an agent to come to pick her up while I asked her to collect her hand luggage. She then told me that she now felt good again and that she was ready to fly. I forced her out of the plane and we left.........late.
 
indywa
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 4:20 am

Happened to me when I was a FA for Comair. We had a couple board the a/c (CRJ700) and she asked if she could pray. Thinking this is a bizarre request of course I said "Sure". So her and her husband bowed their heads in the door of the a/c during boarding! I her her prayer about staying safe and shortly after they took their seats. I asked her if she was nervous about flying and she said yes, very. I went through the whole "first time/nervous flyer" talk I usually use and POINTEDLY asked her if she was ok to fly (she was shaking badly) and she said yes. We closed the door and started the safety demo as we pushed back. Not 1/3 of the way through the demo she started screaming "Jesus, help me! Jesus, help me! I need off this plane!" So I called the CA and back into the gate we went. Her and her husband came off .. and we took a nice 45 minute delay while the offloaded the entire hold to find their luggage. It kind of angered passengers, especially the ones around them that heard me ask if she was sure she wanted to fly.
 
robsawatsky
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 4:30 am

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 4):
Look at what happened to Lindsay Wagner (the Bionic Woman actress) she and her mother were on AA 191 and after pushback demanded to be let off the plane. They redocked and let them off.

Everything I've read states they never boarded the aircraft. However, I can't find any independent citation that verifies whether this really happened at all.
 
davidkunzVIE
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 4:35 am

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 7):
I've seen Marge Simpson do it on TV.

That was a great episode!
DH3 DH4 CR1 CR2 CR7 CR9 F70 732 733 734 73G 738 752 762 763 772 742 743 319 320 321 333 343
 
connies4ever
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 7:00 am

Didn't actually see it, but I know that my aunt went to the door on the Boring 707 (CF CC-137) when she & my uncle
were on his retirement leave in 1971. Fortunately the steward prevented any further action by my aunt, as they were
at about FL350 over mid-Atlantic en route Lahr. Claustrophobia led to panic.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Analog
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 7:06 am

Quoting Analog (Reply 6):
It crashed?

To answer my question, yes.

Quoting Robsawatsky (Reply 12):

Everything I've read states they never boarded the aircraft. However, I can't find any independent citation that verifies whether this really happened at all.

It appears that the flight crashed after she decided not to get on the aircraft. She never was on board. These references are not as reliable as I would like, but here they are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines_Flight_191
Which cites:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0905993/bio
 
OTOPS
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 8:33 am

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 7):
I've seen Marge Simpson do it on TV.



Quoting Ordpark (Reply 3):
...people get claustrophobic sometimes when that door closes....better it happens on the ground than at fl360!

Hilarious Simpsons episode as always. However this dude was no Marge Simpson he was a beast of a man likely a native-canadian (aboriginal) well over 6 feet tall and strong as an ox. If he freaked out at FL360 there would have been no restraining him. Weirdly enough he said he had no checked baggage and only a very small carry-on. This alarmed some of the pax who then asked the FA if they had verified he really didn't have any. It turns out he didn't and we were off again with less than a 10 minute delay.
Airbus-A name that manages to make aviation sound uncool.
 
Ashland1381
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 9:04 am

I have seen it happen several times also and has a middle seat guy get really scared in a Tstorm in a 727 (long time ago).

Panic is tough
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 11:00 am

Quoting OTOPS (Thread starter):
Tonight (may 10 2007) on my flight home from YQT to YYZ (AC 8544) the passenger sitting in front of me began panicking after push back and asked to be let off the plane!

No surprise, the idea of spending almost 2 hours aboard of CRJ 100 is bad enough - anyone could panic...  crowded   duck 
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FighterPilot
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 1:06 pm

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 18):
2 hours aboard of CRJ 100 is bad enough

Bah, I'm 6'1" and I've done the YQT-YYZ flight lots. It's really not all that bad.  Wink

OTOPS, How was your stay in Thunder Bay? I live not far from there and it's interesting to hear other people's input about being up north here. Theres not many of us here on A.net Big grin

Cal  airplane 
*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 2:01 pm

Quoting Ordpark (Reply 3):
Happens more often than you might imagine

In all my years flying, I only remember it happening once after we had actaully left the gate.

It happened several times before we pushed, but only the one time after we had pushed.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
OTOPS
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sat May 12, 2007 2:35 pm

Quoting FighterPilot (Reply 19):
Bah, I'm 6'1" and I've done the YQT-YYZ flight lots. It's really not all that bad.

OTOPS, How was your stay in Thunder Bay? I live not far from there and it's interesting to hear other people's input about being up north here. Theres not many of us here on A.net

Cal

Originally being from BC I like a little elevation to my landscapes. It was nice to see some bumpy terrain in the province of Ontario for a change. To be honest there is not much to the city but the setting is beautiful. I will be back next week to finish the job I've started. Hopefully, I'll be able to take a little more of it in. Also love the mix of a/c you get to see that serve the remote north: water bombers, (twin) otters, metroliners etc.

Cheers
OTOPS
Airbus-A name that manages to make aviation sound uncool.
 
FighterPilot
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sun May 13, 2007 3:43 am

Quoting OTOPS (Reply 21):
Also love the mix of a/c you get to see that serve the remote north: water bombers, (twin) otters, metroliners etc.

Yeah, It's nice. The only drawback is the biggest thing that comes to YQT are 737's, mind you the odd 747SP stops by every so often, that was interesting.  Wink

Cal  airplane 
*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
 
itsnotfinals
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sun May 13, 2007 3:47 am

Quoting OTOPS (Thread starter):
Any one seen this happen before?

1 time on a Comair in CVG, left the gate taxied to number 4 for takeoff (in a line of 15) and a young gril started freaking out so we had to return to the gate drop her off and go out again...1 hour delay  Sad
Speedbird 178 Heavy, FINAL runway 27L
 
AnneTooh
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sun May 13, 2007 4:18 am

I once had a passenger on board who literally couldn't control her bladder anymore due to her fear and started peeing on the seat. Everyone around her felt terrible and sympathetic since she was such a nice lady. Someone managed to give her a spare pair of trousers and she eventually could then come for a visit to the flight deck (obviously back in the good old days...). That did help her and just the hassle with that peeing incident got her so busy that she forgot about her fear for a while.

It came back however. When I then saw her in the cockpit it was the first time in my life I that I saw pure fear in someone's eyes. We let her stay for quite some time to talk to us and in the end it helped. She said it's good to know there are human beings up there in the front of the plane and to see them there with her own eyes.

I feel sorry very much for people who panic in situations like that (actually for any panic). It has nothing to do with being a moron or a wimp or whatever and anyone can go through phases like that in a lifetime. But what I always experienced myself on the flights that I had, and heard from others from their flights, is that human help and human presence with sympathetic crew are the best help. It's a human problem that is best dealt with in humane ways. Or, of course, in offloading ways...
 
rikkus67
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sun May 13, 2007 5:42 am

A few years back I went with a close friend (we'll call her "Wilma") to Toronto aboard a red-eye Westjet flight from Calgary. I had no intention of travelling, but this was her first flight, and she was more than a little nervous. I agreed to go and visit friends, while she went to see relatives.

As soon as we arrived at YYC the "fun" began. Wilma began to hyperventilate as we entered the terminal. I knew she was anxious, but little did I know how terrified she actually was!

We checked in, and went to our gate...slowly.... she freaked out about the pterydactils that hung from the concourse ceiling. We found a quiet alcove to stay by ourselves while wating for the boarding call. I decided to go early to the queue when they were announcing for "people that need a bit of assistance"... Little did I realize as I was talking to the gate agent, that Wilma was already losing her mascara and began shaking quite a bit. I reassued the gate agent that I would be looking after Wilma, and that things should be OK after we got settled in the plane.

Wilma's closterphobia got the best of her as we entered the jetway. Sh'e a rather big girl (5'5"/230lbs.), and she started putting on the brakes halfway down. I grabbed her hand and told her " your family and friends are waiting for you.... do this for THEM"... we slowly inched our way forward.

Wilma was already a physical mess when we got the the door of the 737G. It was ...interesting.... watching the F/A greet everyone ahead of us, and then stop half-way thru her greeting when she saw Wilma. A quick reassessment of the situation had two F/A's agree they wanted her at the front of the plane. I wanted Wilma in the middle seat on the exit row, to give her a bit more room. I knew we could pull up the armrest between seats, so she could use a bit of my chair space, and not feel so boxed in. Apparently, my logic for that wasn't good, so the F/A's shifted two pax, and had us sit in row 1. Sure there is a bit more leg space, but with the non-movable armrest Wilma had to let gravity squeeze her into the seat. Closterphobia and a larger butt do no mix in that narrow seat. She was within an inch of having to use a seatbelt extender also. I didn't want to think of the further indignity of that seatbelt extender.

The gate agent actually came down to check on her, and with two F/A's doting on her (all with very good intensions), she was a basket case. I reassured all involved that I would keep her quiet and under control. There was actually an offer of full refund, if she wanted to leave the plane....

I tried to calm her down as much as possible, and we began the pushback. I didn't think of it when she asked for my hand.... had she squeezed even a fraction more, my hand would have been broken. Even with some drugs to calm her down, she was hyperventilating! Our journey to the end of the runway was a treat in itself. When we got to the threshold, we were informed of a 6 minute delay, due to early morning noise restrictions in Toronto. WiIma actually believed that through our taxi, we had began flying. When I told her no... the panic started to set in. It wasn't a good day to wear a light coloured shirt....most of her eye makeup was now on my chest...and loud sobbing prevailed.

Things got interesting as we started our takeoff roll. My hand now was starting to show the early signs of bruising, and the sobs kept getting louder. I looked over at both F/A's, and the look of concern had now greatly increased...an almost terrified look was in their eyes... I just looked back and nodded, a proceeded to hold Wilma's hed into my chest.

The liftoff had me SMOTHERING Wilmas face into my chest, as she was thrusting and screaming as loud as she physically could... I was bracing myself for the classic "WE"RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!"... A constant "shhhhhhhh....it's OK, we're fine, this is NORMAL" was repeated to her for at least the next 10+ minutes as we continued the climb out of Calgary.

It took about an hour for Wilma to calm down, and she timidly started to look around a bit more. I always like the window blind up....Wilma would not have that. Considering her state of mind, I wasn't about to argue with her. After settling into cruise, and an offer of beverage..Wilma finally started to calm down, but was edgy for the remaining 3 hours. As this was the red-eye, and before the flight I had to drive 2.5 hours to the YYC airport, I was completely baked. I asked her permission to rest. I got about 45 minutes of rest, until the deathgrip woke me in light turbulence. I was glad for the F/A's continued patience, as they had check a couple times on Wilma when I was sleeping.

On the way in to Toronto, we did quite a serpentine towards landing. I told Wilma to again bury her head into my chest, and asked if I could slowly explain all the sensations and noises she would be experienceing as we apporached landing time. I actually did a bit of a countdown to touchdown, and the deathgrip finally ended when we turned on to the taxiway. I praised her for making it through. We gathered our luggage, adn went our seperate ways, her to her relatives, me to visit friends. She later told me she passed out immediately on the drive to her relatives house, emotionally and physically worn out from the flight.
Wilma returned back to Calgary on her own a few weeks later, again via Westjet. This time, she made sure she had enough drugs to knock her out, and she woke up just in time for landing back in Calgary.

Would I do the same thing again for her or any other friend? Absolutely, but I think a pre-briefing and de-briefing would be in order.... and WAY MORE KNOCK OUT DRUGS!!!
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smokeyrosco
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sun May 13, 2007 5:49 am

Seen it happen at DUB the odd time, but I used to see nervous flyers all the time, sometimes you'd have passengers that would would walk down the airbridge and unable to board the plane (used to hate that because then you'd have too look for their bag)
John Hancock
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sun May 13, 2007 6:04 am

In 2001 I was booking for a flight from SFO to SEA.
Having just flow Alaska a few weeks early I went to book their flight, but I had problems with their website.
Alaska 261 fell out of the sky on it's way to SFO and on to SEA on the same day I was looking to book.

I was at SFO waiting for another flight to SEA opposite in the same terminal when that happened and saw the security escort the people awaiting passengers inbound to a side room and the flight be canceled.... closely followed by TV cameras arriving and the arrivals board change Alaska 261 to "Contact Agent".

To this day I'll never forget that terminal that day.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
Arcrftlvr
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sun May 13, 2007 9:55 am

Quoting AnneTooh (Reply 24):
But what I always experienced myself on the flights that I had, and heard from others from their flights, is that human help and human presence with sympathetic crew are the best help. It's a human problem that is best dealt with in humane ways. Or, of course, in offloading ways...

Very well put!!!
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sun May 13, 2007 5:45 pm

Sounds like my neighbour. Smile
Some individuals require medical help to overcome their fears.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
VHXLR8
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Sun May 13, 2007 10:14 pm

Quoting Rikkus67 (Reply 25):
I wanted Wilma in the middle seat on the exit row, to give her a bit more room. I knew we could pull up the armrest between seats, so she could use a bit of my chair space, and not feel so boxed in. Apparently, my logic for that wasn't good, so the F/A's shifted two pax, and had us sit in row 1.

The F/As would most likely not have wanted your friend in the exit row for obvious reasons. Crew need know that pax in the exit rows are physically and mentally able to operate the exits (if need be) and to follow crew instructions.
 
AJMIA
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Mon May 14, 2007 12:19 am

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 4):
Look at what happened to Lindsay Wagner (the Bionic Woman actress) she and her mother were on AA 191 and after pushback demanded to be let off the plane. They redocked and let them off.
Then look what happened!



Quoting Analog (Reply 15):
It appears that the flight crashed after she decided not to get on the aircraft. She never was on board. These references are not as reliable as I would like, but here they are:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Airlines_Flight_191
Which cites:
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0905993/bio

Well, if Lindsay Wagner ever gets off a plane I am on you can bet I will be out the door right behind her.

AJMIA
Lady it's a jet... not a kite.
 
tymnbalewne
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Mon May 14, 2007 8:35 am

I've seen it happen on a YUL-LHR flight...and it caused ALL passengers to be deplaned while sniffer dogs checked to make sure that the deplaning passenger didn't leave any nasty surprises behind. He didn't and the plane finally departed.

C.
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
rikkus67
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RE: Panicking Passenger Delays AC Flight

Thu May 24, 2007 3:36 am

Quoting VHXLR8 (Reply 30):
The F/As would most likely not have wanted your friend in the exit row for obvious reasons. Crew need know that pax in the exit rows are physically and mentally able to operate the exits (if need be) and to follow crew instructions.

That did come across my mind, as I know I would have no problem opening the hatch and getting out...but I know Wilma would go either way...terrified to move...or running like a bull to get out!
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