Extreme weather, including winds in excess of 50 mph, reportedly led to several onboard medical issues causing a Frontier flight to make an unscheduled stop soon after departing Las Vegas.
By the sound of things, passengers aboard a Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)-bound Frontier Airlines flight appear to have had a rough journey on Saturday evening. The flight was forced to divert to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) after severe turbulence attributed to high winds caused several passengers to report medical issues.
“Screaming bloody murder, praying, crying, the lady behind us, you could hear her trying to gasp for air,” passenger Jason Berman recounted to Cleveland Fox News affiliate WJW. ”She was having an anxiety attack. Literally in two minutes, I honestly thought – I’m not being dramatic – we are going to die. That’s why I grabbed my phone and texted my boys. We should have never been on the flight to begin with. They obviously knew there was high winds and we took off anyway.”
According to eyewitnesses on the plane, the chaos that accompanied the extraordinary turbulence resulted in more than just a lone panic attack. Several flyers, including a pregnant passenger, reportedly endured minor injuries. More seriously, one person on the flight suffered a seizure following the nerve-racking takeoff from LAS.
Frontier officials confirmed that the flight made an unscheduled stop at SLC, but indicated that the diversion was caused by an unrelated and isolated medical issue. The carrier dismissed any notion that the flight was operating in unsafe weather conditions.
“Flight 1116 operating from Las Vegas to Cleveland last night diverted to Salt Lake City for a passenger medical situation,” the airline told the television station in a statement. “The plane was on the ground for 90 minutes before departing and continuing on to Cleveland. Our first priority is passenger and crew safety and at no time was that compromised.”