PORTLAND, Ore. – Passengers on Alaska Airlines flight 1282 have decided to take legal action against Boeing after a door plug blew off the plane last week. A Seattle-based law firm filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the passengers, alleging that the Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft experienced a critical failure during takeoff. The incident occurred on Friday, Jan. 5, and forced the flight to make an emergency return landing at Portland International Airport (PDX).
Flight 1282 departed from PDX at around 4:30 p.m. The door plug blew out of the aircraft at approximately 16,000 feet, causing a rapid depressurization incident on board. The passengers described a chaotic scene as the force of the depressurization ripped off a boy’s shirt and sucked out cell phones and other debris from the plane. The boy and several others near the hole quickly moved towards the front of the aircraft to find new seats.
Despite the frightening experience, the pilots managed to safely land the plane at PDX around 5:30 p.m. However, the passengers recall fearing for their lives throughout the flight. Thoughts of a complete plane malfunction and possible destruction consumed their minds, leading some to pray and others to text their families in trepidation. The emotional toll of the incident was evident, with some passengers crying and clinging to one another.
In response to the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the grounding of some Boeing 737 MAX 9s. The FAA also initiated an investigation into the cause of the flight’s decompression. Attorney Daniel Laurence stated that the passengers chose to file the lawsuit before the investigation’s results were determined to address their physical and emotional needs.
The class-action lawsuit seeks to hold Boeing accountable for the economic, physical, and ongoing emotional consequences faced by the passengers. The incident has added further concerns to the troubled history of the 737 MAX series aircraft.