Newest Review: ... could not go into brace position due to having a mask stuck to my face. Some people's mask didn't work, but mines did and my mouth felt... more
A very unorganised emergency landing.
Member Name: Lovehearts
Disadvantages: lack of staff training.
I have been dying to write this review ever since I started Dooyoo. I was unsure whether it was inappropriate for a product review in case it frightened people. However, this is my experience and I feel the need to share what happened. I understand airline reviews give very little miles, but this is the most heart-filled review of any prroduct I am ever going to write. I genuinely hope this consumer advice is the best I can give. Can I ask people not to use this as a way to judge flying, but Onur Air's disorganisation and staff's lack of training. Disasters on flights happened, but it was the regulations of Onur Air and lack of safety checks that made the experience so frightening.
A little background about Onur Air: they are the Turkish version of 'Ryan air'. A low-cost carrier that performs domestic flights throughout Europe and also works as a charter airline for companies such as 'Holidays4U and Aegean Flights'. They were banned several years ago in Europe because of their poor safety standards. However, they have been cleared and been allowed to fly again. I still wouldn't recommend anyone flies with them, they have several incidents and if you check Wikipedia, you will see I'm not lying!
7th of September, 2007 I can remember it precisely. OHY 619 .. I remember everything - although it felt like yesterday.
As I live in Glasgow, flights can be very expensive. We flew from our usual airport in Turkey, Dalaman. However, we opted to go to Birmingham because BMI baby performed cheap flights from Birmingham to Glasgow. All-in-all, the flight was extremely cheap. After a two week holiday in a nearby resort, we came to Dalaman in preparation for our flight.
It was an early morning flight, never a good start! I was with my mum, her boyfriend, me, and my boyfriend. I had to have been 15 years old. Me and my boyfriend waited in a que together. However, my mum was a few rows behind and they separated the two ques. Meaning, me and my boyfriend were in one que, my mother in the other. When we got on the plane, I noticed we were seated in the early rows, my mum was way up the back. We got seated and me and boyfriend were giggling and playing along, dummy fighting, cuddling, and getting all excited for the flight. We were beside a young girl, maybe 19, on her own. Before the flight started she was telling us that she was a very nervous flyer, but she travelled frequently to see her boyfriend. I started telling her some statistics about flying, and convincing her it was safe. I was a "wannabe" pilot at that time, and my boyfriend was 18 and was wanting to start with the RAF. We met in cadettes, (an army club) and our love of flying is what bought us together.
It felt great to help the other girl out, I felt like I was a doctor calming a patient down. It made me feel so powerful, like I had knowledge in something and I could use it to help people. I was always convinced that if anything happened on a plane, I would be the brave one, the one to rush to the rescue to and help everyone else. I thought that I could possibly even be an air hostess because I knew flying inside out, I know how to calm people down, and I was almost a professional.
I held the hand of the girl beside me, and take-off commenced. Now I recall the flight, there wasn't a safety demonstration shown, unless it came on one of the over-head televisions and I missed it. We had to have been flying for half an hour at this point. I did hear a woman behind me saying "everyone up there is saying the engine is on fire. This was followed by a laugh". I never thought anything of it at that point, and me and my boyfriend kept paying hangman on a bit of tissue paper.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, we felt the aircraft drop suddenly. Everyone let off a nervous laugh at this. There was also a tiny "ooooh" when the aircraft descended. The girl beside us was laughing too, she said "MY God I hate flying, I just hate it" but was giggling along.
The plane then descended a second time, it wasn't as sudden but people didn't laugh this time. It seemed almost serious.
I noticed the aircraft was very creaky, it was an old model. The engines were roaring harshly, the turbulence was hitting us hard. It was then I remember everything crystal clear, like it only happened a few minutes ago. Me and Danny were talking about Universities. Did a University rather that we had Highers ofra HNC certificate? I was turned to the side, seatbelt off, my knees just laying on his.
And this was when we dropped suddenly. It felt so light, so fast, I could the blood rushing to the top of my head, I could feel the seat coming away from my legs, we kept dropping and dropping, everyone gasping, some laughing, some girls screaming in panic.
Like the sound of dominos falling, there was a loud 'pop' sound followed by the sound of clattering plastic. The whole aircraft turned into a sea of yellow as a cluster of oxygen masks fell from above our heads. I lifted my head in shock, and turned around to see where the air hostesses were. I didn't know what to do. This couldn't be for real? It couldn't possibly happen to me?
The air hostesses were nowhere to be seen. The girl beside me was shouting "oh my god, oh my god". The air masks were situated so far away. I tried to pull it towards my face but it kept snapping back. There is the rule that you should help yourself before you hep others, but the girl beside me was in tears, I was trying to separate them, find out who's mask was who's. Danny then placed the mask over my face. I couldn't feel any air coming out. Danny then said, "there's no air coming out of these"!.
All I thought to myself is "I want my mum. I want her here beside me. What If I die? Will I never see my mum again?"
Danny played about with his, and then said that it was working. He gave me his and like a real, brave man he took mines that wasn't working properly. However, I ended up giving my mask to the girl beside me, I was young and naive and thought I was in love (which I wasn't) and thought if Danny is about to die right now I want to die with him. Also, I had a funny feeling my mum would have taken her sleeping pills by this point, so her chance of survival was low. I wasn't scared of dying, I was scared of the emergency landing, the evacuation, using the slides.. I was scared of the prospect of fighting for my life. I then began to read the safety card to read about evacuation. It was ONLY then I noticed that the masks had to be tugged to be activated, really sharp and sudden. It took a few attempts to activate the air. I gave mine and Danny's a firm tug, I still couldn't feel any air coming out, but I certainly felt I could breathe with it on. I could see the clear bag attached moving slightly, it had to be working.
Some people claimed they didn't work, and according to the news one man had kept a piece that had fallen off. I don't know if there were other masks and I missed them, but I was wondering about people who had kids on board on there knees? I'm positive there was only three masks?
One of the airhostesses were running in and out of the flight deck in panic. One had her make-up smudged with tears. It was then the pilot told us we would be performing an emergency landing. We could hear the ATC in the background, there was the sound of radio, a rant in Turkish.
I still can't remember if we were given a safety demonstration so I wouldn't like to lie and say that we did get one. However, I can't remember getting one and firstly if we had a safety demonstration I would have known the mask had to be yanked to be activated and also if the crew weren't up the back of the cabin most of the time we would have gotten help.
We managed to land safely at Istanbul airport where we were met by fire engines. There was smoke coming from one of engines although no fire to be seen. We don't know what happened to the aircraft, we were never told and never given an apology.
Even though it was an "emergency" landing I didn't see any pre-emergency landing procedures taken out. Was not told to remove shoes or jewellery, could not go into brace position due to having a mask stuck to my face. Some people's mask didn't work, but mines did and my mouth felt sticky and dry from it. Was stuck in Istanbul until we were given a replacement Onur Air plane home.
This was a traumatising experience that has changed my view of flying. I have seen videos of the extensive training cabin crew go through in these situations, but the crew on this flight were disorganised and panicky. I would never fly with Onur Air again as I doubt their staff training. I no longer wanted to be pilot after this event,. However, my young lover Danny has never flown again and even though we are clearly not together anymore, he still tells me about how it traumatised him.
As this was based on one experience, I may as well say that other experiences I've had on Onur air have been pretty reasonable.
Cabin crew have been friendly on all flights and you get what you pay for. They are fairly generous with leg room, but even though some aircrafts have televisions, they use them for safety demonstrations (sometimes) and that is all. No in-flight entertainment.
This event is listed on Wikipedia and a few news websites have mentioned it. However, I think Onur air needs another ban until their staff knows what to do in emergency situations.
Summary: It has happened many times on Onur Air and I don't doubt it will happen again.