An Air New Zealand flight from Los Angeles to Auckland on Friday morning descended into chaos as a faulty cabin monitoring system saw lights cut out, oxygen masks deploy and an emergency warning ring out through the plane.
Fashion designer Jakob Carter was returning to New Zealand on the flight after a business trip in Los Angeles, and said everything had been going smoothly until they hit some turbulence over Rarotonga in the early hours of the morning.
“We hit some turbulence, it wasn’t that bad, but suddenly the lights went out, oxygen masks dropped down…people started freaking out, it was quite scary,” Carter told 1News.
One woman began having a panic attack, Carter said, while flight attendants were also “really scared”.
“They said they’d never experienced anything like it in their careers.”
The confused and worried passengers kept their oxygen masks on for around 20 to 25 minutes, Carter said, before the captain said over the loudspeaker there was nothing wrong with the aircraft and people could remove their masks.