It is difficult enough to suffer from an anxiety disorder, let alone finding yourself in a situation that only adds to your anxiety. It happened recently to a female passenger on an Air Canada flight. She fell asleep during the flight and when she woke up, she was on 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 on Air Canada’s Facebook page
What had started out as “one of the best weekends I’ve ever had” quickly turned into a nightmare for Adams. It began when she was on a flight from Québec city to Toronto Pearson International Airport in Canada.
“I fell asleep probably less than halfway through my short 1.5 hour flight,” she said in the post.
When she finally woke up a few hours later she was alone in the dark. In her words, ‘I’m talking pitch black’. The plane was empty and cold.
“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?!?!”
Adams used her cell phone to contact a friend on FaceTime but within seconds, her phone died. They had shut off all of the power to the aircraft so there was no way to charge the phone. Adams began 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.
Fortunately, she was able to locate a flashlight and began working her way out of the locked airplane. 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.”
Although she was happy that the door was now unlocked and open, she was dealing with a 50-foot drop to the tarmac underneath the plane.
Adams sat in the doorway with her legs dangling outside, using the flashlight to send distress signals.
Eventually, she was able to flag down an airport employee who was obviously ‘in shock’ to find her there.
“He [asked] how the heck they left me on the plane,” Adams wrote, adding, “I’m wondering the same.”
A report by NPR said that Air Canada representatives had offered Adams a ride home and apologized to her on two separate occasions.
“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.
The woman’s story was later confirmed to NPR by an Air Canada spokesperson. They said that the air carrier continues to be ‘in contact with her’ about the situation.