Sleeping Passenger Wakes up on Dark, Cold and Empty Air Canada Plane

Jun 23, 2019

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For most of us, sleeping on a plane is a pretty routine part of being a frequent flyer. For one Air Canada passenger, however, what should have been a short nap turned into more of a nightmare.

On June 9, AC1799, a flight from Quebec to Toronto landed, deplaned and was then parked at a remote part of the airport overnight. While that process is standard, it turned out that one passenger was still on board, sound asleep.

The passenger eventually awoke to a completely darkened plane, and to make matters worse, her cell phone battery was empty. Of course with the A320 shutdown completely and not connected to ground power, there was no way for her to recharge her cell phone. According to her account, she was eventually able to locate a flashlight on board. With the flashlight, she was able to open the main cabin door.

Opening the cabin door lead to yet another problem. On board an A320, there aren’t stairs to deplane like you would have on a regional jet, and jumping would have been too far. As the aircraft wasn’t parked at a gate with a jet bridge, there was no easy means of egress. The passenger eventually used the flashlight to flag down a baggage handler driving by who eventually helped the passenger get off the plane.

It’s unclear exactly how the crew missed a sleeping passenger and failed to check the plane before it was moved to the remote overnight stand.

TPG reached out to Air Canada about the incident but did not receive a response by time of publication. We will update this story with any additional details we receive from the airline.

Featured Photo by Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images

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