FBI arrests man who tried to open door on Anchorage-Portland flight   2 comments

I saw this and wanted to comment, but decided this was a better way.

Before everyone goes “Ooo, terrorist!” consider what happens on a long-haul flight like this. I know because living in Alaska, I’ve done that haul many times. Carbon dioxide builds up sometimes in the plane when it’s at 30,000 feet. Usually, passengers just fall asleep, but sometimes you see erratic behavior. I have personally had claustrophobia attacks on flights that went further than Seattle (which is why I try always to route my tickets through Seattle, so I can get off the plane and breath). Then I learned (from an Alaska Airlines pilot) that sugar is a counteractant and I now request orange juice and carry chocolate. Alaska Airlines crews are usually quite aware of this and breakout the orange juice before the descent, but when they don’t, some people start to do what instinct tells them to do. The natural counteractant of a carbon dioxide buildup in your system is to step outside and get some fresh air. You’re “high” on CO2, so the logical implications of opening a door on descent doesn’t occur to you. And, now you’re a federally-held defendant.

I’m not saying this guy isn’t a terrorist, but it sounds like he had the airplane equivalent of nitrogen narcosis, which could happen to any of us on one of those flights. Take a deep breath and think about that.

Posted May 27, 2013 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

2 responses to “FBI arrests man who tried to open door on Anchorage-Portland flight

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  1. I have traveled from Fairbanks through Seattle to both Philadelphia and Dallas quite a number of times with no desire to “open the door”. As a smoker there was a strong urge or two after a 4-6 hour flight to get my nicotine fix but I managed. I have to remember about the orange juice and chocolate though.

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    • I’m not saying most of us get that far, but I’ve definitely had the feeling of being pressure-cooked in a tin can and wishing I could step outside. I also saw a woman try to do just that about 25 years ago. She was explaining very reasonably that she just needed some air. One stewardess was blocking the door with her body and eventually the copilot came out and physically subdued the woman.

      It was actually worse for me doing the long haul across the Lower 48 on a Continental flight once. I’m not a tall person, and even I did not have leg room and I was stuck between two large men. I spent a lot of time in the line to the bathroom on that flight. I didn’t have to go, but it was a good excuse to stand up.

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