A passenger on a low-cost Indian airline, who became locked in the lavatory, was instructed to sit down and ‘hold on’ as the aircraft came in to land.
Reportedly, the fear of flying, or Aerophobia to give it its official name, affects 2.5 to 5 per cent of travellers.
However, even the most experienced flyer would tremble at the thought of having to land while sitting on the toilet.
A recent incident on a SpiceJet flight turned this unusual scenario into reality. On Tuesday, January 16, a passenger aboard flight SG-268 from Mumbai to Bengaluru, India, experienced a nightmarish situation.
The passenger found themself unable to exit the plane’s bathroom due to a jammed door.
Unfortunately, a passenger was trapped inside the bathroom for an hour,’ SpiceJet stated after the flight. Despite the crew’s and fellow passengers’ concerted efforts, the door would not budge. The confined space and noise did little to soothe the stranded passenger’s nerves.
As the flight neared Kempegowda International Airport, a handwritten note was slipped under the door to the unfortunate passenger.
The note in English and block capitals read: ‘Sir, we tried our best to open the door. However, we could not open.’
It continued with encouragement and instructions: ‘Do not panic; we are landing in a few minutes, so please close the commode [sic] lid and sit on it and secure yourself.’
‘As soon as the main door opens, an engineer will come. Do not panic,’ the message advised.
Aftermath of the incident
The 37-year-old passenger reported sustaining injuries during the landing. ‘During the landing, I suffered injuries. When I came out, I had bruises, and my vision was blurred for a while,’ they told local media.
The airline confirmed a full refund for the passenger and commented: ‘Assistance and guidance was provided to the passenger. Upon arrival, an engineer opened the bathroom door, and the passenger received immediate medical support.’ SpiceJet expressed regret and apologised for the inconvenience.