- Wikimedia Commons
- Tiffani O’Brien says she fell asleep while aboard an hour-and-a-half Air Canada flight from Quebec City to Toronto.
- She says she was left alone on a plane, freezing in the dark, hours after it landed and other passengers had deplaned.
- O’Brien described the experience of being left on the plane as “terrifying.”
- An Air Canada spokesperson told INSIDER that they have followed up with the passenger and remain in contact.
- “We are still reviewing this matter so we have no additional details to share,” the airline said.
Tiffani O’Brien woke up freezing and in the dark.
At first, she thought it couldn’t be real. Earlier that day, she boarded Air Canada Flight 1799, from Quebec City to Toronto, after spending a whirlwind couple of days with her friend, Deanna Dale. The weekend was one of the best of her life, she later wrote in a Facebook post posted by Dale.
But, eventually, it was time to go home. She boarded the plane, a reading book in tow, and an entire row to herself, for what was supposed to be a short hour-and-a-half flight. Comfy in her seat, O’Brien quickly fell asleep.
And then a few hours later, around midnight, she woke up.
“I just woke up alone in plane,” O’Brien wrote in a frantic text message to Dale, according to CTV News. “Omg.”
“What?!!!!” Dale responded. “You should be almost home!!!! Nobody woke you up?!!!!”
O’Brien was somehow left inside the plane, which was empty, cleared, and parked in Toronto, as she slept. The aircraft was also locked up for the night. She tried FaceTiming Dale, but her phone died during the conversation.
Eventually, according to the now-viral Facebook post, O’Brien found a flashlight in the cockpit. She first tried making “SOS signals” out of the windows, hoping someone would notice the light. When that didn’t work, she turned her focus to unlocking the plane doors.
But, out the door was another unexpected surprise: a 40-to-50 foot drop between her and the pavement, she wrote in her post. She “frantically” searched for a rope, even attempting at one point to use the flight attendants’ seat belts to climb down to safety (those were too short, she realized).
Finally, while reflecting the light off the plane’s side, she noticed a luggage cart. By that point, “I am literally dangling my legs out of the plane,” she wrote.
During that time, and after losing contact with O’Brien, Dale desperately tried to contact the airport, she told CTV News. “My friend is trapped on the airplane, in the dark, locked in and she just woke up,” she told them. “I need someone to go and get her.”
Air Canada confirmed the incident to the Associated Press over the weekend.
“We are still reviewing this matter so we have no additional details to share,” the airline told INSIDER on Monday. “We have followed up with the customer and remain in contact with her.”
Toronto Pearson International Airport told CBS News over the weekend “we are aware of this passenger’s story and we can certainly emphathize with the concern she must have felt.”
In the wake of the incident, O’Brien told CTV News that “I haven’t come to terms with it yet.”
“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 wrote in the Facebook post. “Please share if you know of anyone who has gone through this. I don’t like feeling so alone.”
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