This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
What would you do? One minute you’re settling in for a long flight from New York to Santiago, Chile, and the next thing you know — before the plane has even left the tarmac — the in-flight entertainment screens freeze on a scene from a movie with the words “You are all dead” in Spanish.
This actually happened on January 1, 2017, and LATAM Airlines took it pretty seriously. The plane was delayed for two hours, during which time fellow passengers and airline staffers debated whether this was a purposeful message being sent from some hostile group or simply a coincidence.
Here’s how Janice S. Lintz — who was on the plane — describes the turn of events and the ensuing communication with airline personnel:
“The flight from JFK to Santiago, Chile (SCL) on LATAM wasn’t too full and I was lucky to have two empty seats next to me, so got comfy and went to sleep. After some time, somebody bumped into me and woke me up. The first thing I heard was someone saying, “Muerte” and I noticed that we were still on the ground. I initially thought someone had died, but then I saw people photographing the in-flight entertainment (IFE) screen behind my seat.
The flight attendants were speaking in Spanish and didn’t translate what was happening. Eventually a male flight attendant came over and explained what had happened while I was sleeping. Apparently, the IFE screens had frozen during a scene in the movie “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” — onscreen were the words “Todos ustedes están muertos,” which translates to, “You are all dead.”
No one knew if the IFE screen had randomly frozen on this bizarre section of the movie or if the equipment had been hacked and someone was trying to send us a message. Needless to say, in this day and age, airlines take precautions. While I was sleeping, a safety crew made the determination that the plane was safe to fly.
Throughout this experience, I was unhappy that general announcements (and advice from multiple flight attendants) were being communicated solely in Spanish. As a retired attorney and former member of the US Access Board’s Rail and Passenger Vessel (PVAG) Committees, I know that announcements must be made in English whenever vessels and planes originate from the US — this little reminder to a passing flight attendant worked and eventually English followed the Spanish announcements. But should a passenger be required to be an attorney and speak up in order to receive safety information on a flight that’s delayed by two hours?
Ultimately, this was really creepy, and I’m grateful it was just a bizarre coincidence and nothing more sinister.”
What do you think — should LATAM have delayed the flight?
Featured image courtesy of Sergei Kozak via Getty Images.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.