I despise flying. Actually, the thought of the plane crashing is what makes the experience a little un-nerving for me. On a flight once from Helena, MT to Seattle, WA, we went through a major rain/wind storm. We were on a “puddle jumper” and the plane was rocking! I had white knuckles and, not afraid to admit, was scared to death. A woman next to me asked the stewardess if there was another seat on the plane that wasn’t so “bumpy”! You never know what Mother Nature is going to do and you shouldn’t expect any flight to be without some sort of turbulence. Apparently, not this woman…
Lubbock Woman Suing 4 Airlines Due To “Traumatizing” Flight
Everythinglubbock.com: Colleen O’Neal is suing Continental, United, Colgan Air and Pinnacle Airlines for physical and mental anguish as well as medical bills and the cost of the lawsuit. O’Neal said a normally 20 minute flight turned into 2 hours.
She said she actually felt like she was going to die, while in the air and has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The incident happened on October 29th, 2009, when O’Neal was traveling from College Station to Houston. (Why did she wait two years to sue?)
According to her and the lawsuit, tornadoes and thunderstorms were being reported in the area. She said the turbulence began soon after the flight took off and the plane felt like it had lost power and was falling out of the sky. Also according to the suit, alarms were sounding repeatedly in the cockpit, including the stall alarm. She said the pilots tried unsuccessfully to make an emergency landing in Victoria, but had to abort at the last minute. O’Neal said she put her trust in the airlines and they failed her.
“This was nothing that I’ve ever experienced before in my life, this was the most terrifying event of my life. I don’t think there was anyone on that aircraft that didn’t feel like they were going to parish on that aircraft,” O’Neal said.
“Number one expect that the pilot’s well trained or he wouldn’t be there, and number two if you don’t like turbulence you better drive but don’t sue the state of Texas if the road is bumpy,” Local Pilot Mark Drake said.
O’Neal said she’s traumatized and is afraid to fly again. O’Neal is a Texas Department of Public Safety employee, and she had hoped to work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in a job that would require air travel. She alleges that because she no longer travels by air, she has lost out on economic benefits.
O’Neal purchased the ticket from Continental. She is also suing United Airlines, which merged with Continental last year. Colgan Air, owned by Pinnacle Airlines, operated the aircraft. She is suing all four for physical and mental anguish, medical bills and the cost of the lawsuit.
Growing up my dad had a plane and we’d go flying all the time. I wasn’t scared because I had complete faith in my dad. To this day, my dad will tell me to relax when flying – the pilot doesn’t want to crash any more than you do! So you must trust in the fact that the professional pilots want to have a safe flight as much as you do.
I understand being on a flight that scares you to death but really, suing four airlines for weather conditions beyond the airlines’ control? I’m sure the pilots did the best they could with the conditions they encountered. This woman needs to toughen up! Hopefully the court will recognize this frivolous lawsuit and dismiss it.