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On Friday night, I wrote about Alaska Airlines flight AS1282. The flight was scheduled between Portland International Airport (PDX) and Ontario International Airport (ONT), but was forced to return shortly after takeoff when its rear mid-cabin exit door separated. The dramatic scene saw a large section of the airplane’s fuselage missing while passengers’ phones and even a teenager’s shirt got sucked out of the opening. Now, Alaska has contacted passengers onboard the harrowing flight to offer them the paltry sum of $1,500 each.
The unlucky passengers will receive full refunds for their tickets, counseling, plus $1,500 according to an email they received. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that it reads:
We recognize how extremely distressing this incident must have been and we are grateful to you and our crew for everyone’s calm and patience throughout this experience. We will fully investigate this incident and work with the relevant authorities to understand what happened.”
Flight 1282 was carrying 177 people (including six crew members) when the incident occurred. Experts have weighed in and said that it was a stroke of luck that the plane had not reached its cruising altitude or the outcome would have likely been several fatalities.
Diagram of a Boeing 737-9 mid-cabin door plug and components (Source: Boeing) pic.twitter.com/7qPF5MGAOX
— NTSB Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) January 8, 2024
As a result of this incident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded all Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft pending inspections. Both United and Alaska have reported finding additional planes with loose bolts (more here). Inspections are being conducted and neither carrier has said when all aircraft will be back in service.
Anthony’s Take: $1,500 seems like a lowball offer to avoid potential lawsuits stemming from this harrowing incident. It’s amazing that all passengers and crew returned safely, but Alaska should be offering a lot more in light of the incident.
(Featured Image Credit: KPTV.)
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