(SOMEWHERE OVER VERMONT) – Cruising along at 39,000 feet high above Vermont, nobody could suspect what was about to happen. Suddenly, the plane came to an instant halt.
“I heard screaming, and an amenities cart just flew across the plane in an instant. We had stopped; in mid-air.”
The captain then came over the PA, announcing that the flight was cancelled. Only, it wasn’t just the flight: it was the entire airline, WOW air.
“We didn’t know what to do. The airline ceased to exist when we were on our way to Iceland. I mean, what am I supposed to do now,” said David McCoy, a passenger interviewed via satellite phone.
The plane has been suspended at 39,000 feet about 15 miles north of Rutland, Vermont since yesterday morning. When we called the WOW air headquarters to get more information, the phone was not surprisingly, disconnected.
There had been talks of passengers trying to build a parachute out of an emergency escape chute, but it was later cancelled when passengers realized the temperature outside the aircraft is -90F.
At least one airline has offered to try to help. Allegiant sent a memo to some of the passengers asking if they needed saving, but a number of them felt the risk of staying suspended countless miles above the air in a non-functioning jet operated by a defunct airline was safer than boarding a Allegiant one.
It has also had an impact in air traffic control operations.
“We have issued mandatory briefing items that essentially tell the controllers here to avoid certain areas for the foreseeable future. I am in talks now with the union to ensure that these procedures become permanent. We expect them to be up there for…a long time,” said one ATC supervisor.
This is a developing story.