A Frightening Comical Flight-Scare Experience
It being my first time on the almost 8-hours flight from London’s Heathrow International Airport in the U.K. to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in the U.S., a modicum of excitement and anticipation of the unknown gripped as I looked forward to the thrilling night flight experience.
I tried to disguise all this with a confident posture as I sat in the air bus. I knew deep inside that the confidence I was displaying was not authentic, as I sat with my arms crossed on my chest in the fully booked 45 passengers’ business-class compartment of the elegant and stylish British Airways.
A steward pushing a trolley with an assortment of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, was approaching my seat. I quickly put on a fake, though faint smile to welcome her.
“A drink?” she inquired earnestly and honestly as her index finger motioned to the variety of drinks on display. Shyly and unsure of myself for the fourth time, I nodded in negation. She seemed to read my mind. She smiled to me as she went ahead to serve a drink and place it in front of me. “A glass of lemonade will you good do.” She softly muttered as and swiftly pushed the trolley passed me to the next passenger.
True to her statement
I was quiet nervous and the lemonade was something I needed the most. As I gobble it down my throat, I felt the tinge of trepidation and fear as well as the thin, warm moist of layer of sweat which was forming under my armpits and on my chin start to subside. However, this was momentarily and the strange thought of the plane crashing down into fatal debris seemed not to go away. In my quest for more relief, I looked outside the window to the brightly illuminating stars patterned beautifully across the sky. I smiled faintly again at the wonderful sight of the skies.
We had been airborne for about 3 hours but it all seemed like a decade. My eyes wandered from the beautiful skies outside and back to the compartment. I intermittently cast furtive glances on the tired looking passengers from various racial backgrounds and the thought of what was ahead of me seized my mind. I didn’t know who was going to meet me, albeit being assured by both my immigration officials at home and the college administration I was going to join for further that there would be someone to welcome me.
I can’t recall when I drifted to sleep..
The lemonade must have been sedated — but I woke up startled to some commotion in our compartment. Although I didn’t immediately inquire about what was happening, I sensed danger. I curiously glanced outside to see a fighter jet buzzing along our plane. Upon closer look, I realized that it was not one or two but several of them. A look further down on the ground, and the sight of illuminated skyscrapers and other building outside told me that we were almost to land. This meant that I had slept for several hours.
I really tensed as I sought to know what the hell was happening. However, I deciphered that the plane was under siege. A faint memory of Halle Berry & Kurt Russell’s movie, Executive Decision, crossed my mind as I recalled the tumultuous struggle they had to undergo to overcome terrorist threats in air.
Those memories were short-lived as a deep voice from through the plane’s public address system announced that the pilot was safe and the whole commotion was a big misunderstanding. We were instructed to prepare for landing and not to tense anymore.
I really wanted to know what the fuss was all about, but everyone seemed to be shocked to explain. “What had happened to the pilot? What was the commotion about?” I asked myself.
Still astounded on what had transpired, I inquired from a Caucasian lady sitting besides me about the whole commotion. She went on to narrate how the pilot had accidentally got locked in the toilet after the toilet’s door jammed. He tried knocking and banging the door to attract attention in the cockpit but was unlucky as the co-pilot seemed so busy to hear him.
Luckily a passenger who heard the knocking went to aid his rescue. The passenger couldn’t access the cockpit to help or alert the co-pilot and hence alerted the flight attendants who failed to figure out what was happening and must have thought that it was a security threat.
They alerted the co-pilot who unaware of what the security issue could be, and went ahead to hastily announce over radio that the Captain was missing and there was an security threat in the plane. The controller declared it an emergency security and jet fighters were sent for rescue.
However, after realizing the whole hoax situation and having the Captain freed, the plane landed safely in John F Kennedy’s terminal only to meet a huge batch of police and other security agencies waiting for us.