It’s natural to feel anxiety about flying, even with the good track record most airlines have. But passengers on a recent flight to Los Angeles from London on January 27 lived through what would be many people’s worst nightmares.
According to the Marina Del Rey Patch of California, two hours into the American Airlines flight, a mysterious illness struck the crew and the 188 passengers on board.
One passenger reported observing one of the flight attendants faint.
“It was at that point the captain said he was turning the plane around. He said he wasn’t willing to take the risk to keep going and hadn’t got the crew to do it,” Alan Gray, 41, told The Daily Mail.
The Boeing 777 aircraft quickly returned back to London after the illness was discovered.
There they were met by emergency medical personnel. The passengers and crew were evaluated and fortunately none required additional medical attention.
Before the passengers embarked on another flight, air samples were taken to ensure safe conditions.
While the dizziness and loss of consciousness experienced by the passengers and crew have been associated with jet fumes leaking into the cabin, there is still no definitive answer for what caused the illness.
Most would probably assume that American Airlines would be on high alert for these cases after such an event, but according to the Mirror from the U.K., a second of their planes was grounded after crew and passengers again suffered from a mystery illness just two days later.
According to reports, Flight 904, which left Rio de Janeiro for Miami around 11 p.m. on Jan. 28, was forced to land 580 miles early in Brasilia, Brazil, after crew members and passengers passed out mid-flight.
Multiple passengers came forward with statements regarding what possible causes it could have been, with one crew member saying something about “oven cleaner reacting badly.”
Around 55% to 60% of commercial ovens are powered by natural gas, with electric ovens being the second most popular at about 40% to 45%. There is the potential for natural gas from a stove to be harmful on its own, but it can be even more dangerous if it reacts with other harmful compounds.
American Airlines says that their maintenance team is now thoroughly inspecting and performing a maintenance check on the aircraft.