Everybody knows that gut-wrenching feeling you get when you accidentally lock yourself out of your car. Or your apartment. Or, worse still, heaven!
But imagine if you were flying a commercial airliner to Vegas and, after briefly stepping out for a smoke (kidding), inadvertently got locked out of the cockpit.
Well, that's what happened yesterday on a Delta Airlines flight from Minneapolis when the cockpit door malfunctioned and the captain got stuck on the wrong side. And now we know why there are always two pilots onboard. Without incident, the co-pilot took over and landed the plane safely at McCarran International Airport at 12:25pm.
"It was very, very bizarre,” Flight 1651 passenger Jesse Dougherty told ABC News. "About half way through [the flight] there seemed to be some talking at the front of the plane. You could see the captain out there,” he said. “There wasn't a huge panic but some confusion."
The only problem with the first officer landing the plane from his seat on the right side of the cockpit -- no taxiing controls. The aircraft had to be towed from the runway to the gate, while many of the 168 passengers ripped up in applause (or at least politely golf clapped) at the smooth landing.
Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews called the landing "unusual” but assured ABC, “We take everything very seriously.” Added Delta spokeswoman Lindsay McDuff, "Commercial aircraft can be landed with one pilot and Delta crews are trained for such situations."
Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.