Imagine you are boarding a flight back home, you get on the plane, sit and get comfortable. After 45 minutes they start bringing drinks and snacks and the movie starts. Imagine that as you are starting to watch the movie, all of a sudden the plane feels like its coming down really fast, the lights of the plane go off and the oxygen masks come down…Now imagine that everyones oxygen masks come down except for the masks on yours and few other rows and its getting harder and harder to breathe, can you imagine this scene when you are stuck inside a plane, flying at God knows how many miles up in the sky and there is nothing you can do about it? Well, that is exactly what happened to me last night.
As I was taking my second flight of the day back to Amsterdam and just as I was going to start watching the flight movie, the plane started to come down really fast, I didn’t know what was going on so I tried to keep calm and hold on to my seat but that was until the lights went off all of a sudden and the oxygen masks came out, unfortunately the masks of my row didn’t come out, so then is where I started to get very scared and anxious.
I think I must have been in a state of shock for around a minute because as I saw everyone getting their masks on, I couldn’t put mine on since it didn’t come out and the crew started shouting and running up and down the hall: SHARE THE MASKS WITH THE PEOPLE THAT DONT HAVE ONE PLEASE, THEY WONT BE ABLE TO BREATHE! But nobody was sharing their masks with me and the 2 guys next to me.
We started trying to force open the oxygen mask compartment with a credit card but It wasnt working and the air was getting more and more difficult to breathe, then is where I started to panic.
Finally the guy seating next to me managed to force open the mask compartment with a key, our masks came out, I put it on as soon as I could and started to be able to breathe normally again.
We had to do an emergency turn back to Philadelphia because the plane lost its cabin pressure and the problem was that for the people that didn’t have the masks on, it was getting very difficult to breathe and now imagine you cant breathe when you are stuck in a plane.
We are just VERY LUCKY that the plane was over Boston when it happened and not in the middle of the ocean, because the pilot was able to think quick and get us back to Philadelphia to prevent a tragedy.
I don’t know what was worse, the feeling of the plane going down as fast as possible because we lost cabin pressure, the fact that my oxygen mask didn’t come out or the fact that as I was seeing everyone around me breathing with their masks on, I was sitting there in a state of shock and it was getting very difficult to breathe, it was almost as if I was breathing through a sponge or a piece of cloth, the air was so thin and started giving me a chest pain.
We managed to turn back and land in Philadelphia before this would turn into a tragedy and 1 hour after we landed we were put into another flight to Amsterdam, but to be honest, that LAST thing I felt like doing at that moment was getting back into another plane.
Now I am sitting back at home writing you about the scariest experience I have ever been through on a plane, I am just happy and grateful that this didnt end up in tragedy and extremely shocked at the fact that US Airways don’t give maintenance to those planes and if it wasn’t because we managed to force open the Oxygen mask compartment, me and the people next to me wouldn’t have been able to breathe at around 37,000 feet up in the air and what shocked me the most, was that the people next to us refuse to share their oxygen with us…
EDIT: I took these 3 pictures as we were already stable and almost landing back in Philadelphia, not while the commotion was happening for those who are commenting on that.