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Woman Stuck on 18-Hour Flight After Sleeping Through Her Stop


Scott Olson, Getty Images

When I went on vacation recently,  I thought the 6-hour flight I took from Texas to Washington was an incredibly long time to be on a plane. But just imagine being stuck on a plane for 3 times that amount.

A woman’s flight from Pakistan to Paris turned into an 18-hour nap when she slept through her stop in Paris and woke up flying back to Lahore, Pakistan. Now officials from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) are trying to figure out how they managed not to notice the sleeping passenger.

The woman, named as Patrice Christine Ahmed, who is married to a Pakistani, left Lahore at noon on Tuesday to fly to Paris via Milan, but did not wake up to get off the plane, airline spokesman Sultan Hasan told AFP.

The woman did not mention her mistake to cabin crew and the matter only came to light when she was stopped by immigration officials on arrival back in Lahore on Wednesday morning — after a 12,000-kilometre (7700-mile) round trip.

Hasan said PIA were investigating the incident and the French subcontractor responsible for passenger handling in Paris.

“We have put questions to this French firm also about the incident but it is also the responsibility of the passenger to disembark at the destination,” he said.

“It is a passenger’s responsibility to check about the destination and disembark when the plane arrives at the particular airport.”

I will agree that part of the blame lies with the woman. However, I find it hard to believe that no one from the flight even tried to wake her up or apparently check on her. These sort of cases of negligence are becoming more and more common in airlines both domestic and international, and to be honest, it makes me a bit nervous. Seems like the problems in air travel isn’t just with the passengers, as the TSA would have us believe, but the airline staff themselves.

Though I have to say, I’m pretty impressed that she was able to sleep so soundly on those uncomfortable seats…

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