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‘It was horrible.' Couple who was aboard frightening Alaska Airlines flight says airline offered passengers $1,500

Alaska Airlines resumed service of some of its 737 Max 9 fleet Friday, but those who were on the flight with the blown door plug earlier this month say they are still traumatized by the entire incident.

Joan and Gilbert Marin said the airline offered them and other passengers $1,500 for the ordeal they experienced. The couple said that’s not nearly enough, considering what they went through.

The Marins were headed home to Riverside after seeing their daughter in Connecticut over the holidays. They were traveling with their little dog, Toby, when the door plug blew out of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282.

“There was the loudest explosion. It was horrible” Joan recalls.

Joan and Gilbert were seated just two rows behind the gaping hole. Gilbert immediately thought of Toby, who was in an open dog carrier under the seat. When Gilbert looked down, he saw the dog was trying to get out.

“I had to reach down there and grab him, and that scared me because I could see that it was moving and I didn’t know if it was going to suck him from under the seat,” said Gilbert.

The couple pulled the little dog onto their laps and believed that they weren’t going to make it. The couple said the entire incident affected them deeply. 

“Every time I look at him and my wife, and everything, it brings it back. That could have been it,” Gilbert said.

The couple said Alaska Airlines offered them each $1,500 for their pain and suffering. Instead, they refused that sum and got a lawyer. Alaska Airlines told NBC4 the $1,500 offered to passengers was for incidental expenses.

Joan and Gilbert are hoping the airline and Boeing step up and take responsibility for what happened.

The National Transportation and Safety Board said the plane’s pressurization warning light had gone off three times during recent flights before the door detaching midflight. Alaska Airlines’ response to the warning light was to limit travel of the aircraft over land only.

Joan said when she learned of this, she was enraged, saying, “They deemed the flight was not safe to fly over water but it was safe to fly over land. Really? Is that so you can pick up my body pieces over land but not over water?”

The NTSB has not yet uncovered a correlation between the warning light and the blown door plug. Gilbert and Joan said they are beyond thankful for the pilots and the flight crew that day and said the airline and Boeing need to realize how close everyone came to total disaster.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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