Three years ago I was on a Southwest flight at night from Phoenix to Detroit. Approximately one hour into the flight there was a loud bang and a big drop of altitude. We had our seatbelts on; I had bruising on my arms from hitting the armrests and abdominal bruising from the seatbelt.
The pilot advised the flight crew to take their seats. There wasn't any other communication from the pilot. We flew for approximately two more hours and the pilot told us we were diverting to Chicago because of "bad weather in Detroit". We immediately changed planes and flew to Detroit where the night was clear and calm. I vowed I would never fly again. I was terrified.
Recently, I reluctantly flew from Detroit to Vancouver. We had some bumps, the pilot advised what was going on, we were changing altitude, etc. The communication helped my anxiety.
So my question/comment is.....because there was not any communication on the Phoenix/Detroit (Chicago) flight I was terrified. I think they flew to Chicago because that's where the Southwest hub is and they were concerned about a damaged plane.
I received a letter of apology and a voucher in the mail from Southwest again detailing bad weather in Detroit that night.
What would you think about this?
I'm trying to alleviate my fear of flying.
It is natural to be fearful after a severe bump in turbulence when the pilot did not keep you informed after the first flight. Yes, communication to the passengers is very important to allay their fears.
The Southwest flight flew to Chicago probably because of better weather and also, as you have said, it is the hub where maintenance could be done as a pilot must make a report if the plane encounters severe turbulence in flight.
I suppose the letter of apology and voucher confirms the inconvenience and anxiety caused to you.
Below are 3 videos for your viewing pleasure...
Turbulence – Fear of Flying
Captain David Kistruck's In-Flight Explanation Part 1
Captain David Kistruck's In-Flight Explanation Part 2
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