Passengers aboard Alaska Airlines ALK flight 1282 experienced a major scare, as an emergency exit-sized gap suddenly appeared in the side of the plane, leading to a rapid decompression. The plane was en route from Portland to Ontario, California, when the incident occurred.
As per a report by The Wall Street Journal, the flight took off on Friday afternoon and was forced to return to Portland International Airport within 30 minutes. The plane, at 16,000 feet, had 171 passengers and six crew members on board, all of whom survived the frightening ordeal.
The sudden decompression sucked out a cellphone, a teddy bear, and a passenger’s shirt, causing oxygen masks to drop from overhead compartments. Passenger Sreysoar Un, traveling with her 12-year-old son, described the terrifying experience: “We literally thought we were going to die.”
The incident has prompted an inquiry by federal air-safety investigators and renewed concerns about Boeing BA, the manufacturer of the aircraft, and Spirit AeroSystems SPR, one of its main suppliers. The 737 Max 9, the type of aircraft involved in the incident, is now subject to inspection orders by U.S. regulators.
After a safe landing, passengers on Alaska Airlines were evacuated and checked for medical needs. The airline has committed to a full investigation of the incident, promising refunds and $1,500 to each passenger for their inconveniences.
Following the incident, United Airlines UAL announced the grounding of its entire fleet of Boeing 737 Max 9s. The move came as the Federal Aviation Administration also ordered airlines to ground more than 170 Boeing 737 Max 9s for inspections.
Shares of Alaska Airlines were trading at $37.69 at the last check.
This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.