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Jetway Gives Out While Southwest Passengers Deplaning

I’m not a nervous flier, but I have had the jet bridge shift on me when I was walking on it.  That gives me the creeps!

I’m always worried it can give out–and it did today on a Southwest flight.

According to USA Today:

Passengers exiting a Southwest Airlines flight in Seattle got an unwanted surprise Tuesday when a jetway leading to the airport terminal gave way.

No one was hurt in the collapse, which dropped the walkway about six feet toward the ground around 10:30 a.m. PT. Passengers were deplaning on a flight arriving from Phoenix at the time of the incident. About half of the plane’s passengers already had exited before the jetbridge started to sink at Gate B-14.

The good news is this situation taught me something I did not know about jetbridges.  There’s back up!

Thanks to a backup system — a large screw under the jetway that turns as it is raised or lowered — the bridge fell slowly, and those who were on it walked up to the gate.

That screw won’t help you out if you dawdle on the jetway, but at least they had sufficient time to get off once it started going.

This made my irrational fear a little more rational.  What’s your traveling irrational fear?

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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2 comments

  1. a lot of jetbridges have an “auto level” feature that looks like a little wheel touching the side of the plane. As it rolls, the bridge adjusts itself so as not to damage the plane. My biggest fear is a little kid going up and trying to spin the wheel, making the bridge jump

  2. You are “always worried” that jet bridges can give out? I suspect far more pax will die/be seriously injured in aircraft incidents than jet bridge incidents this year.

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