|Ms Reddin claims the Malaga-to-Dublin flight she was working on landed far too fast and hard (pictured outside court yesterday)|
An Aer Lingus air hostess is suing the airline following an allegedly very heavy landing in which she thought she was going to die. Cassandra Reddin, 32, told Dublin's High Court: 'I thought we were all dead – that the aeroplane was not going to stop. I was shaking.' Ms Reddin claims the Malaga-to-Dublin flight she was working on landed far too fast and hard.
She told the court how safety leaflets flew out of chairs and passengers' bottles smashed as the plane bounced along the runway. She said she thought the plane was going to overshoot the runway altogether as it then taxied along at an unusually high speed. Alcohol from the broken bottles in the overhead bins began to leak onto the heads of the passengers, many of whom were screaming, she said.
Her first duty was to tell the passengers to resume their seats, and to try to calm them down, Ms Reddin said. She added that she had been amazed that the plane had landed at all. Ms Reddin said it had been unstable, 'rocking from side to side' and 'bumpy' on the approach to Dublin, even after the landing gear was lowered. 'It was very, very frightening,' she added.
Ms Reddin, of Woodlands Manor, Ratoath, Co. Meath, said the senior cabin person instructed her afterwards 'not to mention what happened... because the co-pilot was mortified'. The plaintiff said she cried the whole evening at home afterwards, and that she was in shock. She said that the next day, she could not move her neck, and that she later developed panic attacks. She said she now works in the social media section of Aer Lingus.
Her counsel, Finbarr Fox SC, said Ms Reddin, an experienced cabin crew member whose lifetime ambition had been to work in that job, suffered back, neck and shoulder injuries following the incident on November 19, 2009, and had to take a significant time off work. He said it was alleged that the landing was 'well short of what a competent pilot ought to have managed', even allowing for the 'blustery' weather at the time. He said the plane descended at a 'wholly inappropriate and wholly excessive' rate.
He said that in the last six seconds before the landing, the Airbus 320's rate of descent was as fast as 1,400 feet per minute, 'three to four times what it should have been'. Mr Fox said the plane was swaying from side to side as it came in to land, and was 'plainly not stable'. He said the pilot should have aborted the landing, and tried again.
|Ms Reddin claims the Malaga-to-Dublin flight she was working on landed far too fast and hard. She told the court how safety leaflets flew out of chairs and passengers' bottles smashed as the plane bounced along the runway (stock photograph)|
'He had a very simple option which he ought to have exercised, and which he was mandated to do by his own protocol, which was quite simply to go around, have another go and get it right before coming in,' counsel said. Mr Fox said that 'you can imagine the degree of chaos and distress aboard the cabin' following the heavy landing. Counsel noted that Ms Reddin had been seated at the rear of the plane, in a flip-down swivel seat which he said had little or no suspension, and which left her in a vulnerable position.
|In the case being held at Dublin's High Court (pictured), it is claimed that the airline failed to provide Ms Reddin with a safe place of work, that its pilot failed to exercise the appropriate care, skill and caution on landing the plane, and that it exposed her to a risk of injury|
It is claimed that the airline failed to provide Ms Reddin with a safe place of work, that its pilot failed to exercise the appropriate care, skill and caution on landing the plane, and that it exposed her to a risk of injury. Mr Fox said Aer Lingus had denied the allegations.
The case continues before Mr Justice Michael Hanna.
- Daily Mail