"I thought we were going to die": Family's anguish over flight drama

The Northern Echo: PRECAUTION: Emergency service vehicles greet the Boeing 757 after its arrival in Sofia, Bulgaria PRECAUTION: Emergency service vehicles greet the Boeing 757 after its arrival in Sofia, Bulgaria

A SUNSHINE break ended in mid-air drama for North-East holidaymakers, when their flight home was forced to make an emergency landing after a loss of cabin pressure.

Vicki Standing thought she and her family were going to die when their flight from Paphos, in Cyprus, to Newcastle, began a rapid descent just an hour into the five-hour trip on Wednesday (June 4).

Passengers on Jet2 flight LS516 donned oxygen masks as the Boeing 757 jet dropped more than 23,000ft in five minutes, before landing at Sofia, in Bulgaria, almost an hour later.

Emergency vehicles were waiting on the tarmac, but it was not necessary to evacuate the plane.

Passengers waited several hours for a replacement aircraft and crew to be sent to Bulgaria from Manchester, to enable them to resume their journey.

Mrs Standing, from Darlington, was with her sons Thomas, 14, and three-year-old James, as well as her parents, Neil and Jan Berry, from Norton, in Stockton.

She said: “I knew there was something wrong before the oxygen masks were deployed, as we were only about an hour in when the plane started to slow down.

“My ears were popping, so I knew we were losing altitude. My eldest son told me to stop panicking, but I knew something wasn't right.

“The seat belt sign came on without any turbulence, which I thought was strange.

"The next thing I knew, I heard the word ‘emergency’ and then the masks were deployed.”

Mrs Standing, 40, feared her youngest son would lose consciousness as he didn’t want to wear the mask at first.

She added: “The plane was drastically descending, which we later found out had to happen to get us to the 10,000ft altitude to be able to breathe.

“I was thinking we were about to crash, we were shaking and we did think ‘this is it’.

“The pilot did a magnificent job of getting us down and the staff were extremely good at keeping everyone calm once they knew what was happening.

“To top it all off, we had to fly around a storm as the weather was horrendous in Sofia.

“I was so glad to get on the ground. Many people were very shaken up.”

The family eventually arrived home at 6am on Thursday.

A Jet2 spokeswoman said the flight was diverted as a ‘precautionary measure’.

She added: “The aircraft landed safely and passengers returned to Newcastle on a replacement aircraft. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience.”

Comments (21)

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4:39pm Thu 5 Jun 14

David Lacey says...

Not nice and it is understandable that folks were scared. Thank goodness the problem wasn't too serious. Well done to the crew.
Not nice and it is understandable that folks were scared. Thank goodness the problem wasn't too serious. Well done to the crew. David Lacey
  • Score: 29

6:54pm Thu 5 Jun 14

tel1973 says...

Not all of the oxygen mask came down they got stuck, and the way we were treated in sofia airport was disgusting, tret like animals, stuck there for 6hours and not one person gave us any information or told us a thing, and all we were given was coffee, tea and crisps,
Not all of the oxygen mask came down they got stuck, and the way we were treated in sofia airport was disgusting, tret like animals, stuck there for 6hours and not one person gave us any information or told us a thing, and all we were given was coffee, tea and crisps, tel1973
  • Score: -6

9:29pm Thu 5 Jun 14

ryanmason2014 says...

There was 16 of us travelling back from mine and my wife's wedding on this same flight, what a horrendous end to all the lovely celebrations. Totally agree with previous comments and my wife kept saying something was not right from the moment we set off. Luckily we have landed safely but the service was disgusting, all the staff stayed on the plane whilst we had to wait in this room for about 7 hours with a 22 month old baby that was distraught with one nappy left and no food or drink (all we were given was tea, coffee, water and crisps, which is not suitable for my child nevermind all the other children onboard). At the end of the flight we were given an a4 piece of paper stating 'we apologise for the delay, we hope that despite this disruption caused, you had a pleasant flight'. Seems almost laughable to even say this, how could any part of the flight be enjoyable? It's fair to say I certainly will not be using Jet2 services again!!
There was 16 of us travelling back from mine and my wife's wedding on this same flight, what a horrendous end to all the lovely celebrations. Totally agree with previous comments and my wife kept saying something was not right from the moment we set off. Luckily we have landed safely but the service was disgusting, all the staff stayed on the plane whilst we had to wait in this room for about 7 hours with a 22 month old baby that was distraught with one nappy left and no food or drink (all we were given was tea, coffee, water and crisps, which is not suitable for my child nevermind all the other children onboard). At the end of the flight we were given an a4 piece of paper stating 'we apologise for the delay, we hope that despite this disruption caused, you had a pleasant flight'. Seems almost laughable to even say this, how could any part of the flight be enjoyable? It's fair to say I certainly will not be using Jet2 services again!! ryanmason2014
  • Score: -8

9:57pm Thu 5 Jun 14

sarahlouise87 says...

Yeah they have apologised but won't take liability for my parents luggage been broken into and things STOLEN ridiculous
Yeah they have apologised but won't take liability for my parents luggage been broken into and things STOLEN ridiculous sarahlouise87
  • Score: -6

9:58pm Thu 5 Jun 14

sarahlouise87 says...

tel1973 wrote:
Not all of the oxygen mask came down they got stuck, and the way we were treated in sofia airport was disgusting, tret like animals, stuck there for 6hours and not one person gave us any information or told us a thing, and all we were given was coffee, tea and crisps,
My mams luggage was broken into shocking
[quote][p][bold]tel1973[/bold] wrote: Not all of the oxygen mask came down they got stuck, and the way we were treated in sofia airport was disgusting, tret like animals, stuck there for 6hours and not one person gave us any information or told us a thing, and all we were given was coffee, tea and crisps,[/p][/quote]My mams luggage was broken into shocking sarahlouise87
  • Score: -13

11:57pm Thu 5 Jun 14

pandorica says...

It could be worse you could all be dead. Instead of complaining about only getting tea, coffee, crisps and water, think about the alternative if the pilot had not of landed the plane. I think it is safe to say you pretty much knew the situation when you landed at Sofia. It never ceases to amaze me the ungratefulness of some people. Yes I bet it was frightening, but complaining about the service and damages luggage considering what had just happened would be the last thing on my mind. I would just of been glad all my family was well and everyone else on the aircraft too.
It could be worse you could all be dead. Instead of complaining about only getting tea, coffee, crisps and water, think about the alternative if the pilot had not of landed the plane. I think it is safe to say you pretty much knew the situation when you landed at Sofia. It never ceases to amaze me the ungratefulness of some people. Yes I bet it was frightening, but complaining about the service and damages luggage considering what had just happened would be the last thing on my mind. I would just of been glad all my family was well and everyone else on the aircraft too. pandorica
  • Score: 64

12:26am Fri 6 Jun 14

wonderfish says...

pandorica wrote:
It could be worse you could all be dead. Instead of complaining about only getting tea, coffee, crisps and water, think about the alternative if the pilot had not of landed the plane. I think it is safe to say you pretty much knew the situation when you landed at Sofia. It never ceases to amaze me the ungratefulness of some people. Yes I bet it was frightening, but complaining about the service and damages luggage considering what had just happened would be the last thing on my mind. I would just of been glad all my family was well and everyone else on the aircraft too.
Totally agree. And I wonder how many actually put down their iPads, iPods, kindles and took any notice of the safety demonstration and had an idea of what to do!
[quote][p][bold]pandorica[/bold] wrote: It could be worse you could all be dead. Instead of complaining about only getting tea, coffee, crisps and water, think about the alternative if the pilot had not of landed the plane. I think it is safe to say you pretty much knew the situation when you landed at Sofia. It never ceases to amaze me the ungratefulness of some people. Yes I bet it was frightening, but complaining about the service and damages luggage considering what had just happened would be the last thing on my mind. I would just of been glad all my family was well and everyone else on the aircraft too.[/p][/quote]Totally agree. And I wonder how many actually put down their iPads, iPods, kindles and took any notice of the safety demonstration and had an idea of what to do! wonderfish
  • Score: 39

8:01am Fri 6 Jun 14

The Love Slug says...

you've just survived a potentially life endangering flight, I would head off to a church to find god rather than complaining on a newspaper website that you only got crisps and plotting your claim for compansayshun
you've just survived a potentially life endangering flight, I would head off to a church to find god rather than complaining on a newspaper website that you only got crisps and plotting your claim for compansayshun The Love Slug
  • Score: -9

8:03am Fri 6 Jun 14

Ally F says...

Some of the comments seem rather petty . I'm sure it was quite frightening at the time, but no-one was injured, and everyone got home safe and well.

The plane was not scheduled to land at Sofia, but diverted due to an emergency situation and loss of cabin pressure. The crew executed the standard response to such a situation - a rapid descent of altitude and emergency landing at the nearest suitable runway.

Sofia were not expecting you to land when you did, and were probably left rather short-staffed as a result of the sudden arrival of so many unexpected passengers.

Opportunist theft from luggage is unfortunate, but that's happened to me transiting through Charles De Gaulle before - it's not uncommon. Be thankful for the professionalism of the cabin crew and pilots.
Some of the comments seem rather petty . I'm sure it was quite frightening at the time, but no-one was injured, and everyone got home safe and well. The plane was not scheduled to land at Sofia, but diverted due to an emergency situation and loss of cabin pressure. The crew executed the standard response to such a situation - a rapid descent of altitude and emergency landing at the nearest suitable runway. Sofia were not expecting you to land when you did, and were probably left rather short-staffed as a result of the sudden arrival of so many unexpected passengers. Opportunist theft from luggage is unfortunate, but that's happened to me transiting through Charles De Gaulle before - it's not uncommon. Be thankful for the professionalism of the cabin crew and pilots. Ally F
  • Score: 29

8:55am Fri 6 Jun 14

Yemen says...

The Love Slug wrote:
you've just survived a potentially life endangering flight, I would head off to a church to find god rather than complaining on a newspaper website that you only got crisps and plotting your claim for compansayshun
Find god ? laughable !

god did not get these people out of this situation the pilots did and that why the deserve the pay they get.
[quote][p][bold]The Love Slug[/bold] wrote: you've just survived a potentially life endangering flight, I would head off to a church to find god rather than complaining on a newspaper website that you only got crisps and plotting your claim for compansayshun[/p][/quote]Find god ? laughable ! god did not get these people out of this situation the pilots did and that why the deserve the pay they get. Yemen
  • Score: 18

12:24pm Fri 6 Jun 14

Lionel1 says...

ryanmason2014 wrote:
There was 16 of us travelling back from mine and my wife's wedding on this same flight, what a horrendous end to all the lovely celebrations. Totally agree with previous comments and my wife kept saying something was not right from the moment we set off. Luckily we have landed safely but the service was disgusting, all the staff stayed on the plane whilst we had to wait in this room for about 7 hours with a 22 month old baby that was distraught with one nappy left and no food or drink (all we were given was tea, coffee, water and crisps, which is not suitable for my child nevermind all the other children onboard). At the end of the flight we were given an a4 piece of paper stating 'we apologise for the delay, we hope that despite this disruption caused, you had a pleasant flight'. Seems almost laughable to even say this, how could any part of the flight be enjoyable? It's fair to say I certainly will not be using Jet2 services again!!
I'd be expecting a full and unreserved apology from Jet2, the audasity of some airlines is beyond comprehension. They could have a least diverted the plane to a more scenic airport for the 'emergency landing' - the view looks shocking from the picture above. And then when you thought it could get any worse they give you CRISPS....
[quote][p][bold]ryanmason2014[/bold] wrote: There was 16 of us travelling back from mine and my wife's wedding on this same flight, what a horrendous end to all the lovely celebrations. Totally agree with previous comments and my wife kept saying something was not right from the moment we set off. Luckily we have landed safely but the service was disgusting, all the staff stayed on the plane whilst we had to wait in this room for about 7 hours with a 22 month old baby that was distraught with one nappy left and no food or drink (all we were given was tea, coffee, water and crisps, which is not suitable for my child nevermind all the other children onboard). At the end of the flight we were given an a4 piece of paper stating 'we apologise for the delay, we hope that despite this disruption caused, you had a pleasant flight'. Seems almost laughable to even say this, how could any part of the flight be enjoyable? It's fair to say I certainly will not be using Jet2 services again!![/p][/quote]I'd be expecting a full and unreserved apology from Jet2, the audasity of some airlines is beyond comprehension. They could have a least diverted the plane to a more scenic airport for the 'emergency landing' - the view looks shocking from the picture above. And then when you thought it could get any worse they give you CRISPS.... Lionel1
  • Score: 12

12:49pm Fri 6 Jun 14

nigel d says...

The person who took the time to get their phone out for photos must have been terrified, I mean its more important to post photos than to get ready in case you need to prepare for a crash landing.
The person who took the time to get their phone out for photos must have been terrified, I mean its more important to post photos than to get ready in case you need to prepare for a crash landing. nigel d
  • Score: 12

7:50pm Fri 6 Jun 14

robbiejay says...

ryanmason2014 wrote:
There was 16 of us travelling back from mine and my wife's wedding on this same flight, what a horrendous end to all the lovely celebrations. Totally agree with previous comments and my wife kept saying something was not right from the moment we set off. Luckily we have landed safely but the service was disgusting, all the staff stayed on the plane whilst we had to wait in this room for about 7 hours with a 22 month old baby that was distraught with one nappy left and no food or drink (all we were given was tea, coffee, water and crisps, which is not suitable for my child nevermind all the other children onboard). At the end of the flight we were given an a4 piece of paper stating 'we apologise for the delay, we hope that despite this disruption caused, you had a pleasant flight'. Seems almost laughable to even say this, how could any part of the flight be enjoyable? It's fair to say I certainly will not be using Jet2 services again!!
So your wife kept saying something wasn't right, but all of the Jet2 staff deemed the plane safe to fly? You need to become a househusband and get your missus a job in the aviation industry!
[quote][p][bold]ryanmason2014[/bold] wrote: There was 16 of us travelling back from mine and my wife's wedding on this same flight, what a horrendous end to all the lovely celebrations. Totally agree with previous comments and my wife kept saying something was not right from the moment we set off. Luckily we have landed safely but the service was disgusting, all the staff stayed on the plane whilst we had to wait in this room for about 7 hours with a 22 month old baby that was distraught with one nappy left and no food or drink (all we were given was tea, coffee, water and crisps, which is not suitable for my child nevermind all the other children onboard). At the end of the flight we were given an a4 piece of paper stating 'we apologise for the delay, we hope that despite this disruption caused, you had a pleasant flight'. Seems almost laughable to even say this, how could any part of the flight be enjoyable? It's fair to say I certainly will not be using Jet2 services again!![/p][/quote]So your wife kept saying something wasn't right, but all of the Jet2 staff deemed the plane safe to fly? You need to become a househusband and get your missus a job in the aviation industry! robbiejay
  • Score: 12

12:22am Sat 7 Jun 14

bishopman says...

If you monitor aviation websites you will see that cabin pressure issues are not that unusual but nevertheless will be be quite traumatic for people . It seems strange that airports, wherever in thevworld they are, can't put some emergency feeding system in place, paid for by the airlines, to look after passengers (especially the very young and very old) to make their stay in the airport more bearable.
If you monitor aviation websites you will see that cabin pressure issues are not that unusual but nevertheless will be be quite traumatic for people . It seems strange that airports, wherever in thevworld they are, can't put some emergency feeding system in place, paid for by the airlines, to look after passengers (especially the very young and very old) to make their stay in the airport more bearable. bishopman
  • Score: -4

8:18pm Sat 7 Jun 14

areyouplentywet says...

Drama queens!!
Drama queens!! areyouplentywet
  • Score: 6

8:51pm Sat 7 Jun 14

Vicstand says...

areyouplentywet wrote:
Drama queens!!
Drama queens? Are you having a laugh? have you ever been through this with your children who are your whole world? For about 5 minutes of not knowing what is happening other than we are wearing oxygen masks( That's if they came down as mine didn't until I ripped them down) all that goes through your mind is that we are going down and you are praying to god that you are safe. Your other child is asking if we are over land or sea so imagine what is going through his mind. So don't lecture us about being drama queens. I don't care about crisps or broken into luggage so long as my family and everyone else on board was safe.
[quote][p][bold]areyouplentywet[/bold] wrote: Drama queens!![/p][/quote]Drama queens? Are you having a laugh? have you ever been through this with your children who are your whole world? For about 5 minutes of not knowing what is happening other than we are wearing oxygen masks( That's if they came down as mine didn't until I ripped them down) all that goes through your mind is that we are going down and you are praying to god that you are safe. Your other child is asking if we are over land or sea so imagine what is going through his mind. So don't lecture us about being drama queens. I don't care about crisps or broken into luggage so long as my family and everyone else on board was safe. Vicstand
  • Score: 5

1:52am Sun 8 Jun 14

Naomi86 says...

I can't really understand why people who had nothing to do with this horrendous experience feel they have the right to comment and call people drama queens. And as for the people saying count our lucky stars, this should never have happened! (Then we would have been lucky)!There were issues with the aircraft before we left paphos! Yes it could have been worse but it doesn't make this experience any easier. My oxygen mask did not deploy which I find disgusting, this clearly shows that routine safety checks were not carried out. I don't care about us only getting tea and crisps , I care about the fact oxygen masks failed to release! We were treated disgustingly when we arrived into Bulgaria and we had no communication from any jet2 staff! So idiots that are commenting and don't have a clue what actually happened then just keep them to yourself!. Clueless!
I can't really understand why people who had nothing to do with this horrendous experience feel they have the right to comment and call people drama queens. And as for the people saying count our lucky stars, this should never have happened! (Then we would have been lucky)!There were issues with the aircraft before we left paphos! Yes it could have been worse but it doesn't make this experience any easier. My oxygen mask did not deploy which I find disgusting, this clearly shows that routine safety checks were not carried out. I don't care about us only getting tea and crisps , I care about the fact oxygen masks failed to release! We were treated disgustingly when we arrived into Bulgaria and we had no communication from any jet2 staff! So idiots that are commenting and don't have a clue what actually happened then just keep them to yourself!. Clueless! Naomi86
  • Score: -3

9:02pm Sun 8 Jun 14

Deanne100 says...

About 20 years ago, I was on a civilian plane flying from Cyprus to Germany. We had been on a training exercise. All passengers were serving soldiers. We flew through a storm of heavy rain, high winds/ turbulence and lightening. I saw lightening hit the wing. Everyone on the plane was silent. I prayed to God. Tears streamed down my face. I thought we weren't going to make it. I've never forgotten the fear. Real fear. The Jet2 experience will stay with these people for the rest of their lives. Unless you have experience of this fear, then no one has the right to judge.
About 20 years ago, I was on a civilian plane flying from Cyprus to Germany. We had been on a training exercise. All passengers were serving soldiers. We flew through a storm of heavy rain, high winds/ turbulence and lightening. I saw lightening hit the wing. Everyone on the plane was silent. I prayed to God. Tears streamed down my face. I thought we weren't going to make it. I've never forgotten the fear. Real fear. The Jet2 experience will stay with these people for the rest of their lives. Unless you have experience of this fear, then no one has the right to judge. Deanne100
  • Score: 4

10:50pm Sun 8 Jun 14

pandorica says...

Naomi86 wrote:
I can't really understand why people who had nothing to do with this horrendous experience feel they have the right to comment and call people drama queens. And as for the people saying count our lucky stars, this should never have happened! (Then we would have been lucky)!There were issues with the aircraft before we left paphos! Yes it could have been worse but it doesn't make this experience any easier. My oxygen mask did not deploy which I find disgusting, this clearly shows that routine safety checks were not carried out. I don't care about us only getting tea and crisps , I care about the fact oxygen masks failed to release! We were treated disgustingly when we arrived into Bulgaria and we had no communication from any jet2 staff! So idiots that are commenting and don't have a clue what actually happened then just keep them to yourself!. Clueless!
We read the same article where passengers from the aircraft and comments above stated your thoughts. so if you disagree with our comments then why comment yourself?? From what I said I would of been grateful my kids and everyone was safe, and that is what I stated, not moaning about petty little things. I know what its like being in an aircraft when it loses cabin pressure, and yes I was scared. But the first thing I did was thank god we landed safely, not go to the papers or comment on here about how disgusting you were treat. You all clearly knew there was a technical issue with the aircraft which was why you had an emergency landing. So what exactly did you expect?? I would of thought it was obvious why you had to wait really. And as for not performing safety checks on the plane, well utter rubbish and you know it. Now stop complaining and go give your kids a cuddle and think about what would have happened if the pilot did not land safely.
[quote][p][bold]Naomi86[/bold] wrote: I can't really understand why people who had nothing to do with this horrendous experience feel they have the right to comment and call people drama queens. And as for the people saying count our lucky stars, this should never have happened! (Then we would have been lucky)!There were issues with the aircraft before we left paphos! Yes it could have been worse but it doesn't make this experience any easier. My oxygen mask did not deploy which I find disgusting, this clearly shows that routine safety checks were not carried out. I don't care about us only getting tea and crisps , I care about the fact oxygen masks failed to release! We were treated disgustingly when we arrived into Bulgaria and we had no communication from any jet2 staff! So idiots that are commenting and don't have a clue what actually happened then just keep them to yourself!. Clueless![/p][/quote]We read the same article where passengers from the aircraft and comments above stated your thoughts. so if you disagree with our comments then why comment yourself?? From what I said I would of been grateful my kids and everyone was safe, and that is what I stated, not moaning about petty little things. I know what its like being in an aircraft when it loses cabin pressure, and yes I was scared. But the first thing I did was thank god we landed safely, not go to the papers or comment on here about how disgusting you were treat. You all clearly knew there was a technical issue with the aircraft which was why you had an emergency landing. So what exactly did you expect?? I would of thought it was obvious why you had to wait really. And as for not performing safety checks on the plane, well utter rubbish and you know it. Now stop complaining and go give your kids a cuddle and think about what would have happened if the pilot did not land safely. pandorica
  • Score: 4

12:22pm Mon 9 Jun 14

studio says...

The Love Slug wrote:
you've just survived a potentially life endangering flight, I would head off to a church to find god rather than complaining on a newspaper website that you only got crisps and plotting your claim for compansayshun
Ah yes, find god. Obviously he would have landed the plane, served up some delicious food and looked after the luggage.
[quote][p][bold]The Love Slug[/bold] wrote: you've just survived a potentially life endangering flight, I would head off to a church to find god rather than complaining on a newspaper website that you only got crisps and plotting your claim for compansayshun[/p][/quote]Ah yes, find god. Obviously he would have landed the plane, served up some delicious food and looked after the luggage. studio
  • Score: 9

12:06pm Tue 10 Jun 14

The Love Slug says...

OK, screw the god idea. Claim COMPO instead!
OK, screw the god idea. Claim COMPO instead! The Love Slug
  • Score: -3

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