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Air Canada reviewing after woman left in empty, locked airplane

Last Updated Jun 24, 2019 at 10:42 am EDT

The tail of an Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft is seen at a hangar at the Toronto Pearson International Airport THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Air Canada says it is reviewing an incident in which a passenger claims she was left alone in a pitch-dark airplane after it landed in Toronto.

In a post on Air Canada’s Facebook page, Tiffani Adams says she fell asleep during her 90 minute flight home from Quebec City on June 9. She says the next thing she remembers is waking up inside the freezing cold aircraft still strapped into her seat around midnight, approximately two hours after her flight landed.

“I think I’m having a bad dream bc like seriously how is this happening!!?!” Adams writes.

Adams says she attempted to contact friends and family but her cellphone battery dies. She manages to find a flashlight in the airplane’s cockpit and uses it to send a distress signal out to anyone who may be nearby.

Adams says she managed to open the door to the plane but was faced with a drop to the ground as there is no way for her to get down.

“I search frantically for a rope so I can climb down to safely (flight attendants seat is right by door I opened) but the seatbelt is too short to hang from so back to my distress signals,” she writes. “Now I’m hanging out the door reflecting the flashlight off the side of the plane (figuring reflective exterior will catch someone’s attention in the distance).”

Adams says she manages to catch the attention of a luggage cart driver, who brought her a ladder dock which she used to get off the airplane. She was then met by an Air Canada representative, who apologized and offered her a ride and hotel accommodation but Adams says all she wanted to do was go home.

The airline confirmed to the Associated Press that the incident took place.

An Air Canada spokesperson declined to comment on its disembarking procedures or how the passenger may have been overlooked but told CityNews they have followed up with Adams.

“We are still reviewing this matter so I have no additional details to share,” said Peter Fitzpatrick.

Adams says she continues to experience anxiety and insomnia since the incident occurred.

“I haven’t got much sleep since the reoccurring night terrors and waking up anxious and afraid I’m alone locked up someplace dark,” she writes. “Please share if you know of anyone who has gone through this I don’t like feeling so alone.”

Read Tiffani’s full account below which was posted by her friend to Air Canada’s Facebook page

Another sleepless night for moi unfortunately insomnia doesn’t care that I work in the morn. First off must say I really appreciate the bday love. I’m a couple days late on the thank yous and finally just catching up on fb… honestly it’s been really difficult week and half for me and I’m asking for help I would really like to find out if anyone had been through this too bc 10 days later and I am still a wreck… not handling my emotions very well and welcome coping advice or techniques to calm my nerves.

I had the most incredible time in Quebec with Deanna I’m grateful for what was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had.. my flight home I got super comfy reading my book happy I scored my row all to myself (flight was about 1/4 full) I fell asleep probably less than halfway through my short 1.5 hour flight… I wake up around midnight (few hours after flight landed) freezing Cold still strapped in my seat in complete darkness (I’m talking pitch black) as someone with and anxiety disorder as is I can tell you how terrifying this was. Think I’m having a bad dream bc like seriously how is this happening!!?! My phone lit up with missed msgs and of course I assured Dee I would text when I land in Toronto… send her msg just before Midnight saying omg I’ve just woke up and I’m all alone on this cold dark plane… Dee initially thinks I should already be home and maybe having a bad dream… so I tell her I’m flipping to FaceTime bc I also don’t have any clue wtf going on less than 60 secs on ft tryna show her (of course its total darkness) and my phone dies I’m trying to focus on my breathing and control my panic attack while I attempt to charge my phone by plugging into every USB port I could find… no luck bc when they shut the aircraft down there is no power whatsoever I now have to use washroom and that’s also no picnic when you can’t see a thing and are tryin to keep yourself calm since I can’t charge my phone to call for help I’m full on panicking bc I want off this nightmare asap.

I found the walky talky thingys in the cockpit but they also don’t work I can’t radio for help

I was so overjoyed when I found a flashlight in the cockpit and I’m making some flashy sos signals out the windows hoping someone sees me. Finally now that I have tight I’m determined to unlock the door and save myself felt like a champ when I got main door open (found ail 3 latches w my lifesaver of a flashlight and open the door all the way)

Now I’m facing a 40-50ft drop to the pavement below. I hang out the door trying to get the attention of ground crew I can see Pearson’s lights but too tar away I’m where the aircrafts park overnight there is no one around I search frantically for a rope so I can climb down to safety (fight attendants seat is right by door I opened but the seatbelt is too short to hang from so back to my distress signals now i’m Hanging out the door reflecting the flashlight off the side of the plane (figuring reflective exterior will catch someone’s attention in the distance) not sure how much time has passed be no phone no nothing

When I see the luggage cart driving towards me I am literally dangling my legs out of the plane. he is in shock asking how the heck they left me on the plane I’m wondering the same (when my seat an inch back or my tray down flight crew take notice but yet you missed a person still strapped into her seat and just all go on home?!?!)

Anyway the guy had the ladder dock and I jumped to safety before he was even a foot from the door the Air Canada cars pull up drive me up to Pearson where I’m met by another Air Canada rep asking if I’m ok and would I like a limo and hotel. umm no are you kidding me all I want to to go home I have to work in a few hours… she tells me use her phone to call home and call shuttle to take me to my car. Air Canada called Monday and Tuesday both people again ask me to repeat what happened apologize for my inconvenience and say they will do an investigation bc they have checks in place that should prevent people from being locked on the aircraft at night.

I haven’t got much steep since the reoccurring night terrors and waking up anxious and afraid I’m alone locked up someplace dark this is a super long post-so I’ll wrap it up please share if you know of anyone who has gone through this I don’t like feeling so alone