Fear of flying: Plane delayed as panicking passengers cause Mamelodi Sundowns players to bail out

2010-02-09 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Two passengers’ fear of flying led to an SAA flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg — with the Mamelodi Sundowns soccer team on board — being delayed by more than two hours on Sunday.

Two passengers on flight 372 left the aeroplane because they started feeling uneasy about the flight shortly before they were due to take off. Other passengers, including the Sundowns players, also decided to disembark.

SAA’s acting head of group corporate affairs, Vimla Maistry, said the two passengers asked to get off the plane because they are terrified of flying.

“The pilot assured the passengers that everything was in order and that they were not in any kind of danger.” Maistry said the pilot allowed everyone to decide for themselves whether they wanted to stay on the flight.

“The baggage of those who elected to stay was checked again and sniffer dogs were also brought in as an extra precautionary measure.”

The flight was due to leave at 7.50 pm, but took off two hours later, landing at O.R. Tambo Airport shortly after midnight.

Maistry apologised on behalf of SAA to those passengers who were inconvenienced by the incident.


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