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Alaska Airlines offers passengers $1,500 after door detaches midflight

Some are questioning whether the compensation is enough as passengers aboard the plane feared they were going to die.
Alaska Airlines offers passengers $1,500 after door detaches midflight
Posted at 12:16 PM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 14:16:20-05

Many passengers aboard an Alaska Airlines flight last Friday thought they wouldn't survive when a door plug flew off mid-flight, leaving a refrigerator-size hole in the plane while at an altitude of 16,000 feet.

In an email, Alaska Airlines offered passengers $1,500 for the mishap, according to reports. A ticket refund was also included in the compensation package.

But some question whether the airline is offering nearly enough.

Daniel Laurence, a partner at the Seattle-based Stritmatter Firm — who is representing Alaska Airlines passengers in a case — says passengers can seek legal action for "emotional distress," according to The New York Post.

"As a moral matter, $1,500 per passenger, for what could have been a death experience and might even be described … as a near death experience, is inadequate," Laurence told the Post.

When the mayhem ensued, passengers were faced with a gaping hole in their aircraft 20 minutes after taking off from Portland, Oregon. A boy's shirt was ripped from his body, and other passengers' belongings were sucked through the hole.

Oxygen masks deployed as the Boeing 737 Max 9 braced for an emergency landing.

Sieysoar Un and her 12-year-old son Josaih McCaul were a row behind the section where the door plug flew off and ripped Josaih's stuffed animal into the abyss.

"I reached over and held his hand. We literally thought that we were going to die," Un said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America." 

Another passenger, Emma Vu, shared screenshots on TikTok of texts she sent to her parents while aboard the flight.

"I am so scared right now. Please pray for me. Please I don't want to die," she messaged her parents.

There were 174 passengers and six crew members aboard the flight.

The incident is under investigation, and Boeing 737 Max 9 jets were grounded pending inspections.

Alaska Airlines has canceled all flights scheduled on Boeing 737 Max 9 planes through Jan. 13.

SEE MORE: Boeing CEO admits 'mistake' in terrifying midair blowout


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