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Southwest passengers cried, vomited, and sent goodbye texts as their flight attempted to land in a heavy storm

Business Insider | Apr 16, 2018, 07.42PM IST

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LM Otero / AP

Some passengers feared for their lives during the flight's first attempt to land.

  • A Southwest Airlines flight from Florida to New Orleans on Saturday left passengers worried that the plane was going to crash.
  • After an initial attempt to land in New Orleans during a storm, the flight was diverted to Panama City, Florida, to refuel and wait out the storm.
  • Some passengers wondered why the flight attempted to land in New Orleans during the storm.


Some Southwest Airlines passengers thought they were headed for a crash as their flight attempted to land on Saturday.

According to Newsweek, passengers cried, screamed, vomited, and sent goodbye texts to their families during the landing, which was reportedly attempted despite limited visibility because of a storm.

"It felt like I was about to lift off. I felt like I was done. I felt like I was about to see baby Jesus and Papa God," passenger Marie Wary told WWL-TV.

Southwest Flight 3461 was headed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in New Orleans, which received 3.45 inches of rain on Saturday. The flight was eventually diverted to Panama City, Florida, to refuel and wait out the storm, but some passengers wondered why the flight attempted its initial landing at all.

"This was all 100% preventable but @SouthwestAir took a huge risk and I honestly feel lucky to be alive," Lauren Bale, a New Orleans television reporter who was on the flight, said on Twitter.

"I just don't understand why @SouthwestAir put everyone in that situation."

"Our top focus is Safety," a Southwest representative told Business Insider in a statement. "Flight 3461 from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans arrived about four hours behind schedule after persistent thunderstorms over New Orleans forced prolonged holding near New Orleans awaiting clearance from air traffic controllers, followed by a refueling stop in Panama City before the completion of the journey. The Safety of our Customers and Employees as well as the Safe operation of every flight is our highest priority."

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