A woman passenger woke up in a dark, cold, and empty Air Canada aircraft cabin after she fell asleep during her 90-minute flight from Quebec to Toronto Pearson International Airport. Tiffani O' Brien woke up and found herself still strapped in her seat in a "freezing cold" and pitch black cabin.
“As someone with an anxiety disorder as is, I [can’t] tell you how terrifying this was...I think I’m having a bad dream bc like seriously how is this happening!!?!” O’Brien wrote in a Facebook post published by her friend, Deanna Noel-Dale.
Panicking, she texted Noel-Dale for help. “I just woke up alone in plane,” said one text that O’Brien sent, according to CTV. “Omg.”
When she tried calling her friend via Facetime for help, her phone suddenly died. She tried to find a working USB port to charge her phone but there was simply no power inside the aircraft since the auxiliary power unit was not activated.
O' Brien then made her way to the cockpit and found a flashlight which helped her get to the door. The problem now was there is no airbridge or staircase connected, and she was like 40ft above the pavement. Desperate to get off, she hung by the door and used the flashlight to signal for help by reflecting the light off the sides of the aircraft. Finally, a ramp worker was able to notice it and went to help the trapped passenger.
Representatives of Air Canada have been in contact with O' Brien since the incident. Air Canada confirmed the incident and has announced it is launching an investigation into the matter, according to the AP.
This is not the first instance of a passenger being left behind on a plane. In 2013, a Louisiana man was locked in a United Airlines plane that landed at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport after taking a nap during the flight, ABC News reported.
In another report by ABC News, a British law professor was found asleep on an Air Canada Jazz plane in a hangar at Vancouver International Airport back in 2010.
The same year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a Michigan woman who sued Trans States Airlines on the basis of false imprisonment, after she found herself trapped in the cabin for more than three hours after the plane had landed.