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, LinkedIn and .


  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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