I’ve experienced quite a few painful flights.
5 hours of non-stop turbulence, for example. Being struck by lightning twice. (The plane, not me.) Even, well, children who just won’t shut up.
Never, though, have I witnessed the roof falling in.
This is what happened on a United Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Washington D.C. on July 4.
As Fox 5 reports, it received video from an unnamed passenger that shows a substantial chunk had dropped from the ceiling and onto a passenger.
Those on the plane told Fox 5 that the plane had endured a rough landing.
A little like United itself has over the last year or so.
But for a whole ceiling panel to come right off does seem a touch strange.
You might hear a plane rattle during, say, turbulence. It’s surely rarer, though, to see a whole ceiling panel come right off.
Oh, not so rare, perhaps.
It was only in April that a mom on an American Airlines flight insisted that a ceiling panel had dropped on her son’s head during what she termed a routine landing.
An oxygen tank seems to have come loose, too.
I asked United for its view of the falling panel and will update, should I hear.
Generally, U.S. airlines have an excellent safety record. The awful tragedy when a woman on a Southwest Airlines flight in April died after a fan blade smashed a window was the first fatality since 2009.
Those of dry countenance might mutter, though, that planes are being utilized toward their limits in the service of maximized profits. This means more miles, quicker turnarounds and, perhaps, occasionally inattentive maintenance.
United told Fox 5 that there were no injuries, but there so easily could have been. That looks like a piece of ceiling almost as large as the Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel.
The airline says that it apologized to the passenger.
One would have hoped for a little gift, too.
A travel voucher and a year’s supply of Advil, perhaps.