Oxygen Masks Deployed

July 13, 2008

in Airplane Stories

My husband and I had planned a quick 3 day trip over 4th of July weekend to Las Vegas. Our flight on Alaska Airlines from Seattle to Vegas was delayed over an hour due to mechanical issues. Finally they board the plane, close the doors and were almost ready to go when apparently there was an issue with the AC that had to be corrected; they decided to do this repair while passengers were on the plane delaying us another hour or so.

Finally the plane is ready to take off…up and out of Seattle things are smooth and all of a sudden all of the oxygen masks deploy. Talk about an eerie silence as nervous people were looking around at each other. After what seemed like forever the pilot finally announced that this was real and to put on your masks, the whole procedure. In the meantime the plane was making a rapid decent. We were on an MD80 and all I could think about was the crash Alaska Airlines had a few years back on the same aircraft type. At this point the flight attendants were walking up and down with portable oxygen tanks making sure people were breathing OK and their masks were working.

After the pilot got below 10,000 feet they finally came back on to tell us that the cabin had lost air pressure, causing the masks to deploy and the need for the rapid decent. Needless to say we made an emergency landing in Klamath Falls OR which was not even equipped to handle jets much less the 150 passengers on board.

This turned into a 10 hour delay as we had to wait for a new aircraft which came rather quickly, but because of one of the flight attendant’s refusals to get on the new aircraft another one had to be flown in to take her place. The Red Cross came to the airport to offer support and bring lunch; the airport was so small people were laying on the floors and sitting outside because there weren’t enough chairs.

Finally we made it to Vegas safely and Alaska Airlines compensated each passenger with a free roundtrip ticket for future travel.

Very scary, and although I am a nervous flier, it has not stopped me from traveling and I still love Alaska Airlines and am a frequent flyer.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Shakinthefat October 9, 2008 at 11:25 am

10 hours is not bad for fixing a airplane in Klamath Falls OR. They just don't have airplane parts at every Home Depot. Sounds like the Oxygen mask came down as advertised and since most people don't watch the flight attendents or read the emergency card they were dumbfounded.


Buttons April 2, 2009 at 6:34 pm

I'm a Portland resident, I always fly Alaska if they're going where I'm going (which is 90% of the time).

I'm glad you made safe journey to Vegas and back. This flight sounds really scary. But it sounds like the crew and airport in K Falls did their best to accomodate the unforseen aircraft problems. Kudos to Alaska, who still, in my opinion, have the best Mileage Plan, the friendliest flight crews and most reliable flights.

I recently flew PDX to BOS on the "new" non stop service; 5 hours coast to coast without a hitch on Alaska.


Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Alaska is probably the best airline in terms of service in the industry right now hands down.


Steph April 7, 2009 at 5:06 am

Flight attendants made sure others were okay, though they obviously did not have masks on. Professionalism. Glad you left with good opinions of the airline.


Bill February 10, 2014 at 3:04 am

I don't believe. Alaska only flys 737s and q400


James February 10, 2014 at 9:36 am

Today you are correct.

The original article was posted here on July 13, 2008. The last flight of an MD-80 by Alaska Airlines was August 28, 2008, as documented here: http://splash.alaskasworld.com/newsroom/asnews/as


Bebe June 26, 2017 at 5:32 pm

I'm surprised that people waited for an announcement to put the masks on.


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