The FAA reports that at least two Alaska Airlines flight attendants became incapacitated due to fumes on Saturday’s flight 952 from Maui to Seattle.
According to the reliable Aviation Herald, the Boeing 737-800 was en route at 34,000 feet over the Pacific, approximately 300 nautical miles from Maui, when the problem occurred. The flight diverted to Honolulu, and they summoned medical personnel. This diversion was confirmed by the flight tracking service FlightAware.
It is unclear from the report whether two or more of the flight attendants reported feeling dizzy. They apparently “recovered for a bit of time, but then the symptoms returned, prompting the plane to divert to Honolulu.”
Honolulu Airport problems further aggravated the emergency situation.
While it was approaching the airport, nearly two hours after departure from Maui, the aircraft was advised to taxi to a gate at Honolulu Airport to meet medical personnel. As you know, however, gate availability and flight delays are serious problems there.
“Gate personnel had not yet arrived at the gate…The aircraft taxied speedily to the apron with emergency services in trail, who prepared to establish a triage at the gate. All 4 cabin crew received minor injuries.” What kind of injuries was unclear.
It is being reported, but we could not confirm, that the aircraft is still on the ground in Honolulu.
Cause of the incident is unknown thus far.
Others have speculated that the incident may have resulted from an issue with the plane’s auxiliary power unit. We are awaiting more information and will update you as soon as we learn more. Also, why was it only the cabin crew reporting dizziness and not the passengers? We speculate that when this happened at 34,000 feet, the cabin crew probably stood in the back galley getting ready to provide service. It’s also possible the issue started before passengers boarded the plane.
Flights must be canceled with multiple crew members incapacitated.
We understand that the aircraft would have had at least four cabin attendants on board, and if two or more became ill, that would have required the flight to be terminated. The issue appears to have impacted only the cabin crew and did not involve the flight crew.
AS 952 flight path per FlightAware.