24th June, 2019
A woman boarded an Air Canada flight earlier this month, fell asleep after takeoff and woke up alone in a dark, parked plane, apparently forgotten about by ground staff.
Tiffani Adams’s story was posted by her friend, Deanna Noel-Dale on Air Canada’s Facebook page, drawing incredulous reactions from readers and a request for details from the airline.
According to the post, Tiffani was flying from Quebec to Toronto Pearson International Airport when she fell asleep, aided by the fact that she’d ended up with a whole row of seats to herself.
She woke up in “pitch black,” with the plane having landed and apparently been towed away from the airport, after passengers and crew had disembarked.
“I think I’m having a bad dream (because) like seriously how is this happening,” she wrote.
She briefly called a friend but was cut short when her phone’s battery died.
“I’m trying to focus on my breathing and control my panic attack while I attempt to charge my phone by plugging into every USB port I could find,” she wrote, but that proved fruitless because the electricity on the plane was turned off.
After finally finding a torch in the cockpit, she managed to open one of the doors but faced a drop of up to 50 feet (15 meters) to get out of the plane.
She then used the torch to draw the attention of a luggage cart driver, who arrived to find Adams with her legs hanging out of the plane’s open doorway.
“He is in shock, asking how the heck they left me on the plane,” she said. “I’m wondering the same.”
Air Canada apologised for the incident, Adams said, but she hasn’t had much sleep since and is struggling with night terrors.
Air Canada told broadcaster CTV News that it was reviewing the episode but declined to offer further details.
Here is the Facebook Post by Adam’s friend, Deanna Noel-Dale:
Another sleepless night for moi unfortunately insomnia doesn’t care that I work in the morn 😩 first off must say I really appreciate the bday love 🥰 I’m a couple days late on the thank yous and finally just catching up on fb..honestly it’s been really difficult week and half for me and I’m asking for help..I would really like to find out if anyone had been through this too bc 10 days later and I am still a wreck..not handling my emotions very well and welcome coping advice or techniques to calm my nerves
I had the most incredible time in Quebec with Deanna I’m grateful for what was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had.. my flight home I got super comfy reading my book happy I scored my row all to myself (flight was about 1/4 full)
I fell asleep probably less than halfway through my short 1.5 hour flight.. I wake up around midnight (few hours after flight landed) freezing cold still strapped in my seat 💺 in complete darkness (I’m talking pitch black) as someone with and anxiety disorder as is I can tell you how terrifying this was..I think I’m having a bad dream bc like seriously how is this happening!!?!
My phone lit up with missed msgs and of course I assured Dee I would text when I land in Toronto..I send her msg just before midnight saying omg I’ve just woke up and I’m all alone on this cold dark plane..Dee initially thinks I should already be home and maybe having a bad dream..so I tell her I’m flipping to FaceTime bc I also don’t have any clue wtf going on less than 60 secs on ft tryna show her (of course its total darkness) and my phone dies..I’m trying to focus on my breathing and control my panic attack while I attempt to charge my phone by plugging into every USB port I could find..no luck bc when they shut the aircraft down there is no power whatsoever I now have to use washroom and that’s also no picnic when you can’t see a thing and are tryin to keep yourself calm..since I can’t charge my phone to call for help I’m full on panicking bc I want off this nightmare asap
I found the walky talky thingys in the cockpit but they also don’t work I can’t radio for help
I was so overjoyed when I found a flashlight in the cockpit and I’m making some flashy sos signals out the windows hoping someone sees me
Finally now that I have light I’m determined to unlock the door and save myself…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
Now I’m facing a 40-50ft drop to the pavement below 😬 I hang out the door trying to get the attention of ground crew I can see Pearson’s lights but too far away I’m where the aircrafts park overnight there is no one around..I search frantically for a rope so I can climb down to safely (flight attendants seat is right by door I opened but the seatbelt is too short to hang from so back to my distress signals now I’m hanging out the door reflecting the flashlight off the side of the plane (figuring reflective exterior will catch someone’s attention in the distance) not sure how much time has passed bc no phone no nothing
When I see the luggage cart driving towards me I am literally dangling my legs out of the plane..he is in shock asking how the heck they left me on the plane..I’m wondering the same (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?!?!
Anyway the guy had the ladder dock and I jumped to safety before he was even a foot from the door..the Air Canada cars pull up drive me up to Pearson where I’m met by another Air Canada rep asking if I’m ok and would I like a limo and hotel.. umm no are you kidding me all I want to to go home I have to work in a few hours..she let me use her phone to call home and call shuttle to take me to my car..Air Canada called Monday and Tuesday both people again ask me to repeat what happened apologize for my inconvenience and say they will do an investigation bc they have checks in place that should prevent people from being locked on the aircraft at night
I haven’t got much sleep since the reoccurring night terrors and waking up anxious and afraid I’m alone locked up someplace dark..this is a super long post-so I’ll wrap it up please share if you know of anyone who has gone through this I don’t like feeling so alone