JetBlue passengers got the scare of a lifetime when police surrounded and stormed a plane believed to be in the middle of a hijacking situation. The plane, which was flying from NYC to LA, experienced a communications issue shortly before takeoff and sent out a distress code, prompting officials to take action.
However, there was no security threat. In a statement to People, the airline company explained the miscommunication. Airbus A321 "experienced a radio issue impacting the crew’s ability to communicate and a false alarm was sent to JFK tower," the statement read. "While communication was reestablished via alternate channels, authorities responded out of an abundance of caution. The aircraft was cleared and returned to the gate for inspection."
I am on a Jet Blue flight at JFK that lost its communications. Created a security crisis. 10 heavily armed cops boarded plane and just left. After 1.5 hours on runway being towed back to gate. Wow.— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) June 27, 2018
Passengers shared photos from the incident, which showed the plane surrounded by emergency vehicles and passengers with their hands up in the air inside the cabin. "Woah. My worst nightmare. @Delta JFK to LAX right now, honestly thought we were going to die. I AM ALIVE THANK GOSH I MEDITATE U GUYS what is going on," one passenger tweeted before anothe added, "I’ve never been told to put my hands up on any plane, but this happened on our @JetBlue plane back to LAX!! Super scary moment as the swat-like team came down the aisle, guns out."
A third describe the situation in more detail, writing, "I am on a Jet Blue flight at JFK that lost its communications. Created a security crisis. 10 heavily armed cops boarded plane and just left. After 1.5 hours on runway being towed back to gate. Wow."JetBlue eventually put the passengers on a new flight and they continued on their way to LA later in the evening. Hopefully, the passengers also got free Wi-FI on board or at least an extra pack of Terra chips for their trouble.