Video from on board CX884 diversion

The diversion of Cathay Pacific’s flight CX884 from Hong Kong to Los Angeles on Wednesday drew a decent bit of attention for, among other things, the location of the diversion point: Eareckson Air Station on the island of Shemya, Alaska. The company’s response was impressive, with a quick and coherent social media presence explaining the situation. Moreover, the service recovery was also impressive as a replacement aircraft was dispatched roughly 8 hours after the diversion was called. And the passengers did eventually make it to Los Angeles roughly 16 hours late.

That’s interesting but even moreso to me is this first-hand account from a passenger on board.

It seems that, at least for a period of the flight, it seemed that ditching on the water was being considered. Also it appears that the alarms were going off for a bit of time before the diversion was explained to the passengers. Having been in a somewhat similar situation out in the middle of the Pacific I can certainly understand the apprehension he felt as the situation unfolded. I suppose I was the beneficiary of only having about 30 minutes to cram all that in to when we did the emergency landing in Kwajalein.

Either way it is more than a little bit scary, especially when you have no idea what is going on around you.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Oh my. It’s possible to feel the tension up until they announce that it’s going to be a normal landing.
    I think CX did a pretty good job, right?

  2. This is what they practice for, over and over. CX managed the situation well – and why not : they are among the few quality airlines with QF, SQ in this part of the world.

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