Plane From Bound For New Orleans Returns To Gate In Los Angeles
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Travel Blogger
A Southwest Airlines flight was forced to return to the gate on Thursday, Sept. 6, when a passenger on board suffered a panic attack.
Flight 4860 out of Los Angeles was bound for New Orleans and had just departed the gate when the pilot announced the plane would be returning to “deal with a situation.”
I know this because I was on that flight.
Just after the aircraft doors were shut and secured, the passenger – a woman seated a couple of rows behind me – said “oh no!,” in a very loud voice.
At first, I thought she had simply left something important at home, but then a light attendant got on the airplane’s phone and a few minutes later the pilot made his announcement.
After returning to the gate, the woman and at least three other passengers departed the plane. There was no unruly behavior by the passengers, no shouting or any screaming or any mistreatment by the airline or any ground officials. It was all handled quietly, discreetly and professionally.
The flight, originally scheduled to depart at 6:10 a.m., eventually took off approximately half an hour behind schedule.
The rest of the flight was calm and the plane landed without incident in New Orleans 15 minutes after the scheduled arrival time.
Another passenger on board cradled a small dog as an emotional support animal and it – and she were quiet and calm the entire flight.
One side note: when it was announced we would be returning to the gate, I posted this information on Twitter and tagged Southwest Airlines. Within minutes, SWA responded and apologized for the delay. The employee who responded even signed the Tweet with his name, Holden.