A photo taken at the Boise Airport in Idaho shows the moment passengers fled an Allegiant Air plane to escape strong fumes entering the cabin. Passengers from the flight say they had no assistance from flight crew and ultimately made the decision to leave the aircraft on their own. Now, they want answers and compensation for the debacle.
The Idaho-Statesman reports that panic broke out on a flight from Los Angeles to Boise after guests on the airplane began to notice a strong odor in the cabin. As the plane came in for landing, passengers on the plane noted a distinct gas smell throughout the airplane. After landing, guests say the smell got continually stronger until they just couldn’t take it anymore. Blanca Robles, sitting in row 29, says the smell was strong and that some passengers began to panic while trying to exit the plane through normal disembarkation procedure.
“When the plane started descending you could start smelling the (fuel). When we landed it started getting stronger. There were some people who were taking their time and some people panicking.”
Kelly Graf, from row 27, says that she was trying to breathe through her sweater due to the fumes and became frightened at how slowly the line was moving.
“You only have whatever is in the cabin (for) air and all that was coming in was gasoline. I was trying to breathe through my sweater. Realistically I didn’t know how much longer I could stand there without getting sick.”
Those sitting towards the back of the plane say there was little to no communication from the flight crew and attendants about what was happening in the cabin regarding the smell. Therefore, when passengers began seeing fumes come from the air conditioning vents, they took matters into their own hands. Someone opened an emergency exit over the airplane wing and passengers began exiting onto the wing in a bid to get some fresh air.
“I didn’t see (any) flight attendants around. Nothing was done. Nothing was said.”
Passengers say that after the line moved through the cabin, those on the wing slowly came back into the cabin and out the exit. Upon leaving the plane, Martin Lopez says he tried to speak with flight attendants about what happened but they told him to “speak with someone from Allegiant downstairs.” However, Lopez says that there was no one from Allegiant downstairs. After leaving the airport, Lopez says he still felt sick from the fumes, so he took himself to the hospital.
Now, guests want answers and a refund for the gas-filled flight as they say Allegiant handled the situation poorly. However, Allegiant denies that passengers were ever in danger and notes that the emergency exit was organized by passengers, not crew.
“At Allegiant the safety of our passengers and employees is our number one priority… Upon arrival at the gate, normal deplaning procedures were in progress during which a fuel smell was observed within the cabin. Passengers then initiated an evacuation through the over wing doors.”
Is Allegiant’s statement enough? Should passengers be reimbursed for the flight?
[Image Credit: Twitter]