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One of the big travel stories of the year was the frightening January 5th incident that took place on Alaska Airlines shortly after takeoff from Portland, Oregon (PDX). At 16,000 feet, a 60-pound door plug blew out from a nearly new Boeing 737 MAX 9, leaving a gaping hole in the fuselage. Miraculously, no one was killed but the incident raised some serious questions. It turns out Boeing and Alaska knew of the potential dangers.

Window on a Delta Air Lines airplane appears to be held together with tape.Then there was a whole spate of mishaps with Boeing planes – especially with United. The FAA grounded some of the Boeing 737 Max 9s from Alaska Airlines and United Airlines for three weeks. Things were so bad for Boeing, a travel agency created a website that informed travelers whether they were scheduled to fly on one of their planes.

I also wrote about this here: Don’t want to fly on a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane? Here are three easy ways to avoid it. And Saturday Night Live did a skit about Alaska Airlines that was full of zingers and went viral.

Even weeks later, it seemed like every day, there was a story about a plane part falling off or a plane nosediving.

The real damage occurred when multiple former Boeing employees, including a manager, said they ‘would absolutely not fly a Max airplane. And last week, Boeing’s CEO admitted his company has retaliated against whistleblowers during a Senate hearing.

So it’s only natural for air travelers to be a little nervous when they fly – especially on a Boeing airplane. That’s why Delta Air Lines passenger Laura Iu posted a video on Threads (embedded below) of a window seal being held together with tape.

“While flying @Delta I kept hearing a whistle sound. I thought it was coming from the air vent but I was exhausted I slept through most of the flight. When I woke up I realized the window seal was being held with TAPE. I could feel some type of air coming thru (not sure what it was but it scared me. I told the flight attendant who said I was overreacting, said we wouldn’t be able to fly if it was a big deal and since it was like that before it’s fine? what do u think? Was I wrong to feel unsafe?”


Post by @mechomanrandysalvage
View on Threads


In the comments, one person posted the components (pictured above) of a plane window to show that it was safe. Others chimed in as well:

gcampbell73: You’re fine there are different layers. If there was air escaping the cabin past the outer shell it wouldn’t have been pressurized and you would have known about it. I understand why it could be worrying though.

But most people understood Laura’s concern:

gieske75: While it may have been fine and not a safety hazard, it’s the optics that matter here. Are we really messaging to passengers that our planes are being held together with tape and glue? Fix it correctly using the proper replacement parts. This type of jerry-rigging makes passengers think: what else on this plane is being held together with tape/glue/paper clips/clothespins/staples/random screws and bolts?

zach_dove_22: In the year of Boeings falling apart don’t you dare tell me I’m overreacting when I see the plane is being held together by TAPE.

vicky.pham: You are not wrong to feel unsafe. When will these airlines admit they are cutting corners? Are they waiting for the window to get blown out completely to cause bodily harm before they take anything seriously? Glad you are putting @delta on blast. Do better, airlines.

For a flight attendant to tell the passenger she was overreacting is terrible customer service. The flight attendant should have taken note of the window and told the passenger that maintenance would take a look. Or she should have brought the captain out to quickly explain that it’s not a safety hazard, if that is indeed the case.

When I saw this video, it immediately brought me back to the time my wife and I were flying to Fraser Island in Australia. The pilot of our four-seater plane was so young (he looked like a young Owen Wilson) and looked like he’d just rolled up from an all-night bender, complete with a girl’s phone number scrawled on his palm. He had to repeatedly assure me that the duct tape, or more likely speed tape, was fine and that the aircraft was safe. I was so nervous for the hour-long flight. It turned out to be fine but the optics weren’t great.

How about you? Would you have freaked out if you heard whistling and saw tape around the window? And on a related note, I’m not sure why Laura peeled the tape off. That should be a cause for concern too, no?

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5 Comments On "Delta Air Lines flight attendant tells passenger she’s 'overreacting' about tape holding airplane window together"
  1. James Bartlett|

    This is ridiculous! The plastic cover has NOTHING to do with the actual window in the airplane! It is there to help protect the window from passengers, who would otherwise press their noses and other body parts into the window itself possibly scratching or otherwise damaging the actual window.
    When you media people sensationalize some small, unimportant detail in order to needlessly engender public fear and distrust, you purposely and knowingly betray the public trust and violate your mandate to get the truth out to the public! Shame on you all !!!

  2. Anonymous|

    I’ve flown Many Times to haw

  3. Philip Tenning|

    First, we have a breakdown in communication here. What I mean is operators are allowed to defer maintenance on particular items of equipment, but still fly the airplane safely. This is the process of applying what we call an MEL (Minimum Equipment List) and accomplished by qualified and knowledgeable Aurcraft Technicians. I used to be one! The deferred item is put in the aircraft logbook and must repair the item within a specified time frame. An item like this decorative trim piece could likely fly in that condition for 6-months! it’s not a safety item, just a trim piece. And, yes, it was likely being held on with tape because that’s what the MEL instruction tell the mechanic to do. So, where’s the communication breakdown? We’ll, when an operator has equipment on an aircraft that’s on MEL, it’s not announced or advertised to customers. The flight crew knows about it, the Technicians know about it, but there’s no requirement to inform passengers flying on that airplane about it. The items that may be put on MEL are strictly regulated and do not negatively affect or reduce the safety (or airworthiness) of an airplane, which was the case here. It’s kind of like this- you’re getting in your car to go to work and find that the passengers side sun visor broke. Are you going to not drive the vehicle until the sun visor is repaired? What if the auto parts store or Amazon can’t get one to you for a week or two? Still not going to drive the car? Or, would you possibly get some duct tape, secure it, and continue to drive the car? Same concept here on a commercial airplane. I do feel there’s an opportunity for airlines to do better when passengers ask about these types of concerns. Happy travels!

  4. Rusty Crossland|

    I have flown with windows being tape, ceiling panels taped etc. unmerging but generally not a big deal. It’s just that United is under the microscope for its DEI extremes. I fly a lot and unless it’s otherwise impossible to get to where in need to go I will try NOT fly a MAX.

  5. Charline Gardner|

    l don’t want to see ANTHING taped inside a plane l am on! GOOD GOD. WHAT WAS THAT AIRLINE THINKING!

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