Southwest passengers cried, vomited, and sent goodbye texts as their flight attempted to land in a heavy storm (LUV)

  • A Southwest Airlines flight from Florida to New Orleans on Saturday left passengers worried that the plane was going to crash.
  • After an initial attempt to land in New Orleans during a storm, the flight was diverted to Panama City, Florida, to refuel and wait out the storm.
  • Some passengers wondered why the flight attempted to land in New Orleans during the storm.

Some Southwest Airlines passengers thought they were headed for a crash as their flight attempted to land on Saturday.

According to Newsweek, passengers cried, screamed, vomited, and sent goodbye texts to their families during the landing, which was reportedly attempted despite limited visibility because of a storm.

“It felt like I was about to lift off. I felt like I was done. I felt like I was about to see baby Jesus and Papa God,” passenger Marie Wary told WWL-TV

SEE: The 9 best airlines in America: 

9 best airlines in America
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9 best airlines in America

9. Hawaiian Airlines

Previous rank: 8

Why it's here: Hawaiian finished last on the TPG list. The Honolulu-based airline's premium ticket prices and Hawaii-centric route network fell victim to TPG new metrics which increased focus on airfare and network size.

8. JetBlue

Previous rank: 4

Why it's here: JetBlue suffered the most significant drop in this year's rankings. The New York-based airline struggled with on-time arrivals, baggage and change fees as well as customer satisfaction. JetBlue's position as a boutique carrier hurts it rankings with respect to the size of its route network as well as the lavishness of its frequent flyer program.

7. Spirit Airlines

Previous rank: 10

Why it's here: Spirit jumped three spots in the rankings due to its improvement in areas such as the number of lost baggage while also benefiting from the missteps of its rivals and the merger of Alaska and Virgin America.


6. American

Previous rank: 5

Why it's here: American Airlines didn't make many moves apart from a one spot from after the Virgin/Alaska merger. The airline struggled with on-time arrivals, fees, lost baggage, and customer satisfaction.


5. Frontier Airlines

Previous rank: 9

Why it's here: Frontier Airlines made a surprising jump up the rankings. The ultra-low-cost carrier benefitted from its route expansion and its improvement in baggage handling.

4. United Airlines

Previous rank: 2

Why it's here: United Airlines rocky 2017 caused it to fall two spots, but not for the reasons you'd expect. United saw marked improvement in operational effectiveness with the number customer complaints down 17% while also decreasing the number of people involuntarily bumped from flights. However, the airline couldn't keep up with its rivals in areas such as airfare and the quality of its airport lounges.

3. Delta Air Lines

Previous rank: 7

Why it's here: Delta made big strides in airfare, the involuntary bumps, and its frequent flyer program while maintaining its high rankings in on-time performance, lost baggage, and the size of its route network.

2. Southwest Airlines

Previous rank: 6

Why it's here: Southwest improved four spots over the past year thanks to lower airfare and the expansion of its sizable route network. The airline's stellar customer satisfaction score and its free checked baggage policy also helped.

1. Alaska Airlines

Previous rank: 1

Why it's here: Alaska Airlines maintained its top spot by scoring in the top three in several key criteria including airfare, on-time arrivals, customer satisfaction, baggage handling, and its frequent flyer program.


Southwest Flight 3461 was headed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in New Orleans, which received 3.45 inches of rain on Saturday. The flight was eventually diverted to Panama City, Florida, to refuel and wait out the storm, but some passengers wondered why the flight attempted its initial landing at all. 

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"This was all 100% preventable but @SouthwestAir took a huge risk and I honestly feel lucky to be alive," Lauren Bale, a New Orleans television reporter who was on the flight, said on Twitter.

"I just don't understand why @SouthwestAir put everyone in that situation."

"Our top focus is Safety," a Southwest representative told Business Insider in a statement. "Flight 3461 from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans arrived about four hours behind schedule after persistent thunderstorms over New Orleans forced prolonged holding near New Orleans awaiting clearance from air traffic controllers, followed by a refueling stop in Panama City before the completion of the journey. The Safety of our Customers and Employees as well as the Safe operation of every flight is our highest priority."

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RELATED: These are the safest, low-cost airlines in the world: 

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10 safest low-cost airlines in the world
#1: Aer Lingus
#2: Flybe
#3: Frontier Airlines
#4: HK Express
#5: JetBlue
#6: Jetstar Australia 
#7: Thomas Cook Condor
#8: Virgin America
#9: Vueling
#10: WestJet

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