‘Terrifying’ flight to Austin diverted due to severe turbulence

Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight diverted to Kansas City for severe turbulence wait to collect their luggage at ABIA. July 13, 2016 (KXAN Photo)
Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight diverted to Kansas City for severe turbulence wait to collect their luggage at ABIA. July 13, 2016 (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Southwest Airlines Flight 1265 from Chicago to Austin was forced to divert to Kansas City after experiencing severe turbulence, on Wednesday.

The airline said that out of an abundance of caution, the flight crew chose to land at Kansas City International Airport to conduct a post-turbulence check on the aircraft.

Nick Dunbar said he was sleeping and the next thing he knew his “butt was out of the chair.” Passengers began to scream and for about a minute the plane was in the midst of severe turbulence.

Dunbar says after moments of “high anxiety,” the flight crew said they would land in Kansas City to make sure the plane and its passengers were okay.

Passenger Robin Grulke said it was a “terrifying” moment for many on the plane. “They just kept telling us to stay in our seats because we were going to have turbulence… and then it was kind of quiet, and then all of a sudden that plane dropped and tipped.”

She said passengers were told flight attendants didn’t want to get back on the plane.

No passengers or crew were injured.

Grulke said it wasn’t all terrible: “One thing it does is it makes people talk to each other and share — and the vibe after we got back on the plane was very relaxed and people were very friendly, people were cheering and they gave us free drinks.”

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