My nerves have been on high alert after watching the survival thriller Society of the Snow — but my anxiety about flying skyrocketed to unprecedented levels after a recent incident left me utterly shaken. On Jan. 5, 2024, an Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing when a massive chunk of the aircraft blew off mid-air.
On Jan. 6, TikTok creator Vi Nguyen (@vee_wins) shared jaw-dropping footage of the harrowing incident. On that note, dive into her firsthand account of the aftermath below, and brace yourself for social media's collective shock and horror in response to this hair-raising ordeal.
A door plug detached while an Alaskan Airlines flight was airborne.
"POV: [You] woke up from your plane nap thinking it was turbulence... turns out the wall of the plane flew off while in the air," Vi shockingly described in a text overlay accompanying her viral video. Honestly, if I were a passenger on that flight, tears would have undoubtedly started flowing down my face.
As she held the oxygen mask to her face, the TikToker scanned the plane with her phone and zoomed in on the gaping hole where a significant section of the aircraft's wall once stood. Wow — the stuff of nightmares caught on tape.
This now-viral video has amassed an astonishing 21.3 million views and counting, with over 1.2 million likes and 4,900 comments from many fellow TikTok users expressing their horrified thoughts about this nightmarish encounter.
"No because how does this happen," one person wrote alongside a crying emoji. "Glad you're safe."
A second TikToker said, "I already panic in turbulence. I'd have a full-blown heart attack."
"No, because I would be hyperventilating," a third TikTok user chimed in.
Another person commented, "I would've thought it was my final destination!!"
"The way I would never fly again," someone else responded. "Y'all are too calm for me."
Many other viewers highlighted the widespread attention the Alaska Airlines flight incident has received, stating that Vi's video was just one of many circulating on social media.
"I'm so glad we live in a TikTok generation [because] I just saw someone else's video who's a few rows in front of you," a TikTok user wrote in the comment section alongside a laughing with tears of joy emoji.
Another person declared, "I have seen EVERY ANGLE of this plane now."
The missing Alaska Airlines door plug has been found.
In a press conference held on Jan. 7, 2024, the National Transportation Safety Board chair Jennifer Homedy revealed that the missing door plug had been located in the backyard of a Portland, Ore. schoolteacher named Bob. Officials added that this plug could play a key role in the ongoing investigation into what caused it to detach from the plane.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the plane's auto pressurization fail light turned on during three previous flights — these flights took place on Dec. 7, 2023, Jan. 3, 2024, and Jan. 4, 2024. The light's activation was "very benign," Jennifer said per NPR, noting it was tested by maintenance crews and reset.
"We don't know that there was any correlation of the two," she stated. "It could be entirely separate."