While it may take a while for everyone to get their bags and file out the door, deplaning is usually one of the least stressful parts of your flight. But it turned out to be the most harrowing travel experience of one woman's life, when she woke up and found herself on an empty, dark, and freezing cold plane hours after she dozed off mid-flight.
After boarding a Toronto-bound flight from Quebec City, Canada earlier this month, Ontario resident Tiffani O'Brien fell asleep in the middle of the 90-minute trip, presuming she'd wake upon landing or at least be tapped on the shoulder when it was time to leave. Neither of those things happened, though, and she found herself in the terrifying position of waking up still buckled into her seat and locked inside the airplane, which was at that point dark, empty, cold, and parked far away from the airport terminal. She was essentially trapped.
“I thought, ‘This is a nightmare,’" O’Brien told CTV News in an interview. “‘This is not happening. I’m having a bad dream. Wake up, Tiffani.’"
O'Brien's first move, according to a Facebook post shared later, was to text and FaceTime her friend she'd been hanging with in Quebec City. However, her phone died shortly after she explained what happened. Re-charging it wasn't an option, either, since power to the entire aircraft had been turned off. That's when she panicked.