Well, where to start.... We are home after a wonderful and relaxing week long vacation on the island of Maui. We had a wonderful time and I will recap our vacation for you all in the upcoming days. However, now I am going to tell you about the most terrifying 3 hours of my life. I normally over exaggerate and my friends and family tease me about it but this is for realz yo. I was scared out of my mind! I will post the pics again from my other post in case you missed them.
So we took off from good ole Iowa on Friday September 17th, a beautiful fall morning. There were no problems with our flight from Iowa to Phoenix. We arrived in PHX, got some eats and got ready to get on our 6 hour flight to Maui. We bored, got settled into our row 21 seats, met the lovely gentlemen next to us and and went about our business. We were then told we were going to have to stay at the gate for a minute due to a gage that something to do with the pressurization. Anyway, about 10 minutes later that captain came on and said, we had our A team on it and everything is fixed. We then headed out and took off.
Exactly 2 hours and 20 minutes into our flight I was listening to my ipod and I hear this God awful noise coming from the bathroom and smoke starting to fill the cabin. The smell of burnt plastic is becoming more and more apparent. The flight attendants are starting to run around looking for fire extinguishers and one gets on the loud speaker and yells, not speaks but yells, WHO WAS IN THE BATHROOM LAST? About 10 people point at this poor man. He stands up and goes back and speaks with them and then takes his seat once again. All the while the cabin is becoming more and more smoke filled. As of yet no one has told us anything. We are still all in the dark as to what is happening. At this point I am thinking there is a fire on board and if so we very well may not make it out. 65% of flights that have smoke in cabin do not have a good outcome. Not to mention that we are over the pacific ocean and no where near land.
The flight attendants then start going up and down the aisle with their hands on the overhead bins trying to find heat. They do this repeatedly 3 or 4 times. Then then ask everyone to check their laptops, cell phones, ipods, anything with a rechargeable battery. Needless to say at this point I am sobbing, freaking out, thinking that the first time I have left my son, I am going to orphan him. I am terrified, absolutely terrified of flying, always have been. To have this happen took things to a new level.
After a few very tense minutes and me curled up like a hot mess in Brendan's lap sobbing the captain came over the speaker and said that they thought it was an overheated bathroom fan. Since we had not reached the equal time point, which would have been 2 hours and 45 minutes, in which we would have been told to go on to Maui. We were being told to divert to San Francisco, it was 2 hours away.....EXCUSE ME! 2 hours in a smoking plane, you have got to be kidding me! Isn't there some island we can land on! I am in a fragile state!!! They reassured us everything was A-OK and that we would be landing in San Fran around 5 pm....That was by far the longest 2 hours of my life!!!! I was a mess the whole two hours!
The smoke alarms went off for about a hour and a half and then eventually shut off. The smoke also cleared, but as we started to descend to San Fran it came back very thick. Apparently the smoke was in the air ducts. As the cabin depressurized the air that it is in the the ducts comes out, well that was the smoke, and we were told to breath through something. We were met on the tarmac by emergency vehicle's and news helicopters.
We deplaned and they flew another plan to San Fran from PHX and we left SF at 11pm pacific time and eventually arrived in Maui at 2am. Only 12 hours later than expected. Thankfully the second flight was very uneventful! I did tell Brendan if he wanted to get me on another plane he needed to take me to a bar, and he did! I slept the whole second flight. Otherwise I don't think I would have gone to Maui. I honestly I have never feared for my life, until that day. I never want to relive that flight again. Just writing this post makes my heart skip a beat and I just went in a kissed Drew as he was sleeping in his crib.
A few things that we learned after the fact....The reason the air masks didn't come down? They only come down when the cabin loses pressure. Who knew? The captain apparently called in a state of emergency and wasn't sure if we were going to be able to make it to SF...SCARY! We were given each a $400 voucher to fly with US air again...Hmm, it's going to be a while until I fly again, but a very nice gesture! The FAA is going to mail each passenger their findings of the investigation.