Toronto-bound flight declares emergency then drops passengers in wrong country
Passengers aboard a Cancun-to-Toronto flight faced a frightening situation on Tuesday, when the Flair Airlines aircraft declared an in-flight emergency and was forced to redirect to Florida.
Flair Airlines flight F82615 departed Cancun International Airport on Feb. 7, climbing to its cruising altitude of 37,000 feet before suffering a cabin pressurization issue.
Emergency landed in Fort Lauderdale, we’re all waiting in immigration , pressurization systems failed over Gulf of Mexico at 37000 feet— Oklahoma_Jonas (@JonasOklahoma) February 8, 2023
Oxygen masks were deployed in the cabin — giving passengers of the Boeing 737 MAX-8 a good scare — and forcing the aircraft to descend down to 10,000, and later 7,700 feet.
February 8, 2023
Data from aircraft tracking site flightradar24.com shows the passenger jet's ascent over the Gulf of Mexico and the point where it diverts east and begins its emergency descent toward Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport in Florida.
@FlairAirlines worst experience flying, left us stranded at the airport. pic.twitter.com/fjMK96gDrN— Edgar Apolinar (@EdgarApolinar12) February 8, 2023
The flight crew used the infamous squawk code 7700 — which indicates a general emergency — to alert air traffic controllers of the developing situation. Ground crews immediately granted the plane priority to land at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood.
Flair Air flight #F82615 from Cancun to Toronto is declaring an emergency via squawk 7700: https://t.co/GDMIBN6hqn ✈️#FlairAir #FlightEmergency #Squawk7700 pic.twitter.com/7qdspkJAty— RadarBox (@RadarBoxCom) February 8, 2023
Any incident involving a 737 MAX-8 aircraft is going to raise questions due to the jet's notoriety for a pair of fatal crashes in 2019 and the fleet's subsequent grounding, though neither of those tragedies was related to cabin de-pressurization.
Flair has been flying the aircraft in question since June 2021, which first took to the skies almost two years prior during the aforementioned grounding.
The aircraft remains grounded in Fort Lauderdale as of Friday. And for a while, the passengers of the flight were also stranded in an unplanned stopover in the U.S.
👍 Seemingly good aviating & navigating by @FlairAirlines in diversion of CUN-YYZ flight to FLL…— Jim Adams (@JimAdams105) February 8, 2023
…but followed by poor communication to passengers (as reported by pax who were on #F82615, eg. abandoned overnight in a foreign country in which they weren’t scheduled to land). 👎 pic.twitter.com/bpkAH5twpw
Mike Arnot, spokesperson for Flair Airlines, confirms to blogTO that "F82615 diverted to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, when the aircraft experienced a depressurization."
"The crew responded ably, and the flight landed without further incident. Passengers were provided with accommodations and food," says Arnot, confirming that the stranded passengers were "re-accommodated on other flights the next day and today by Flair Airlines for their return to Toronto."
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