A traveller named Estela Orts took to her Instagram Story on 27 Sunday to share footage of her flight from Alicante to Mallorca, Spain. Her video - which was documented from her seat - showed the rattling of the plane as it was hit with severe turbulence, while fellow passengers were heard screaming in the background.
The video also showed one woman who appeared to be hanging onto the seat in front of her amid the turbulence. Despite some of the shouting from passengers, others appeared to be unfazed by the incident, as one passenger behind Orts was seen smiling.
In the since-expired Instagram Story, Orts - who is a dancer at the Pirates Adventure Show in Magaluf - reflected on how she felt “born again” after the flight. She went on to express her gratitude for the pilot, before opening up about the fear she felt on the plane.
“I hope the pilot of the plane reads this: THANK YOU, thank you for what you did today, you didn’t have to apologise to us, the minutes felt like forever but in the end it was just a scare,” she wrote on her Instagram Story, per the Daily Mail. “It was the first time in my life that it has ever crossed my mind to think that THIS IS IT.”
She also explained that after her flight took off, she and her passengers experienced turbulence that felt “strange” but also “normal”. However, Orts then described how that turbulence grew worse until the pilot “stabilised” it.
“People and children screaming, being sick, I couldn’t help crying. I don’t know how long that moment lasted but it felt eternal,” Orts continued. “Until the pilot managed to stabilise the plane, it was like a roller coaster. Nobody said anything over the loudspeaker about what was happening, even when it was stabilised.”
The traveller added that even though the pilot “explained why he didn’t speak” on the intercom after “some time passed,” the reason for his silence seemed logical to her. “130km/h CROSS WINDS,” she said. Orts concluded her post by describing how the pilot attempted to land in Mallorca, before ultimately changing the route of the plane.
“We tried to land and we couldn’t, two laps around the island and it was impossible to descend, suddenly we stopped seeing the island and started to climb,” she continued. “The pilot decided that the best option was to return to Alicante. 10:30am we took off 12:36pm we landed (normally the flight lasts 40 min).”
After landing in Alicante, Orts was reportedly scheduled for a flight back to Mallorca on 28 August in the afternoon, as reported by Majorca Daily Bulletin.
The Independent has contacted Orts for comment.
Orts’ flight experience comes after harsh weather in Palma de Mallorca caused a P&O cruise ship to collide with another boat. MV Britannia reportedly came free from its mooring during the storm and was involved in a bump with another vessel on Sunday. A number of people sustained minor injuries and were cared for by the onboard medical centre, according to a P&O Cruises spokesperson. Inspections revealed that one of the lifeboats sustained structural issues and cannot be repaired onboard, the spokesperson added.
“We are so sorry but these extraordinary circumstances mean that the ship is required, by maritime regulation, to return to Southampton with a reduced number of people on board,” the statement continued. “A limited number of guests and crew on board have been advised that they will be leaving the ship and will be returned to Southampton (or their starting point) by flight and transfer.”