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Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

London, UK
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Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

We're strapped in, the crew has taken their seats for take-off, we've taxied out to the end of the runway and the flight ahead of us in the queue has just rumbled away into the distance. We start moving, we turn onto the runway and ........ a woman starts screaming hysterically about 5 rows behind me. She's genuinely screaming her lungs out - she's not just a nervous flyer, a bit alarmed. She's really screaming. The plane must be on fire, or another passnger is attacking her with an axe, or she's spotted someone attempting to ignite their shoes or underpants. Clearly we are all in deadly peril. Half the passengers are on their feet, two crew members rush down the aisle, the pilot aborts the take-off and we pull off to the side of the runway.

And two second's later it's all over. I can't hear the conversation behind me, but the crew return to their seats as if nothing had happened and there's only a brief delay before we pull back onto the runway and take off without as much as a squeak from the screaming passenger. She is silent and apparently perfectly calm throughout the 4 hour flight. No explanation was ever given and I'd actually forgotten all about it by the time we disembarked, so didn't ask the crew what had happened. But it was definitely my oddest experience on a flight to date. Anyone got any ideas, or had something similar happen to them?

Edited: 01 August 2012, 12:47
romford
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1. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

Thank God nothing like that has ever happened to me, but if an incident did occur such as what happened to you, I would expect an explanation from the cabin crew/pilot !!

NYC/Israel
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2. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

She must have really said something to reassure them she wouldn't do a repeat performance. I am trying to come up with, unsuccessfully an illness which would cause such behavior. My gut reaction is she would have been removed from the flight.

In terms of an explanation--the fact that they DID allow her to say means there was a good explanation and privacy would prohibit any explanation to other passengers short of, "we have spoken with the individual involved and are comfortable in continuing our flight with her aboard."

London,England
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3. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

Maybe she had just seen the prices on the inflight menu :)

Leicester, United...
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4. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

Probably Tourette Syndrome.

…yahoo.com/public-screams-private-pains-4396…

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

I've had similar incidents more than once, although both were inflight. Passengers in their sleep screaming. The first time was during a nightflight and woke up the entire cabin (and anyone within about 10 rows of him!), the other was during an early morning dayflight but was a regional jet and in those confined spaces it was rather startling.

London, UK
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6. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

rdglady - those were my thoughts exactly. I can't come up with how she (or a companion) ressured the crew so quickly that it was safe to go with her onboard. She was screaming in such a way that, genuine emergency discounted, I could only think she was not of sound mind. I assumed we'd have to taxi back to the gate to offload her with all the delay that involves, and was genuinely surprised when we stayed put right beside the runway and took off only a few minutes later.

Leicester, United...
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7. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

"I can't come up with how she (or a companion) ressured the crew so quickly that it was safe to go with her onboard."

See post 4. If she had Tourettes she would have carried some documentation to this effect because this would not be an uncommon occurrence. A quick look at that would have reassured the crew.

It would also explain why no announcement was made, as it was a medical issue and the mere fact that the flight continued with her on board would signal that the crew were certain there was no risk.

Edited: 01 August 2012, 14:09
UK
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8. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

Spider ?

New Brunswick, New...
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9. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

I was thinking maybe a bee or something? If they killed it quickly that would explain the quick turnaround.

Boston...
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10. Re: Curious incident on AA1821 on 20th July

Actually, I was thinking the same thing. Sometimes people with dread of bugs go mental when they see a bug on them. Someone squashed the bug. Quick end of freak-out.