Worried passengers on board a Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta, United States, attempted to hold up a panel dangling from an aircraft ceiling as the flight reached its final approach.
The incident, which took place on a flight from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), was caught on video and uploaded to Instagram by one of the flight’s passengers, who goes by the username arnieatl.
“Atlanta’s favorite hometown airline @delta and their ancient fleet stressing out passengers on DL2799 BWI-ATL with the plane cabin falling apart on final approach!” the uploader captioned, adding the hashtags #anxiety and #ancientfleet .
In the first part of the video, the panel can be seen gaping open halfway, until it completely dangled from the ceiling.
Several passengers can be seen trying to catch the panel and attempting to keep their hands in position in case it eventually falls.
A passenger seated directly underneath the panel can be seen holding it in place while the flight continues.
In the comments section, the uploader said that he reached out to Delta Air Lines to report the incident, but was simply told by the airline to lodge a complaint via its website.
Although the aircraft type was not disclosed in the video, FlightAware shows that DL 2799 is regularly operated by a Boeing B737-900 twinjet.
The video attracted comments from aviation professionals who claimed passengers and viewers were overreacting.
A comment from someone who introduced themselves as an aircraft technician said: “I hate how people get so frantic about cosmetic stuff. If you see anything like this on your flight you’re fine it has nothing to do with the integrity or safety of the airplane!”
They continued: “I’m an aircraft technician, I can assure y’all that the plane is not falling apart. That panel is just for design. It’s made of composite material and has nothing to do with the structural integrity of the aircraft. Obviously it wasn’t installed fully or correctly but it shouldn’t be a cause for concern. Videos like this make the general public more skeptical about aircrafts and they go on social media spreading misinformation about what’s going on.”
While the comment was informative, the commenter was berated by other people and told not to be judgmental of “non-aviation” people who would understandably be anxious to see a piece of the aircraft “falling apart”.