September 24, 2013 at 4:39 PM
‘Haze’ in cabin causes Seattle-to-Chicago flight to turn back
A Southwest Airlines flight from Seattle to Chicago returned to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Tuesday afternoon when crew members reported a “haze” and a faint odor in the cabin.
Flight 2874, one of three daily flights from Seattle to Chicago Midway International Airport, landed safely at Sea-Tac, with its 160 passengers and six crew members uninjured. A flight attendant alerted the pilot when the haze began to spread in the cabin shortly after takeoff, and the pilot decided not to make the four-hour flight, Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins said.
The haze dissipated fairly quickly and was gone by the time the plane touched down, Hawkins said. Southwest mechanics will investigate the cause of the haze before the plane is OK’d to fly again, he said. There is no indication the problem was due to any sort of malfunction with the Boeing 737-800 plane, he said.
Hawkins said between Southwest and AirTran, the company operates nearly 4,000 flights a day, and he called the returned flight a “rare occurrence.”
The customers are at Sea-Tac now as crews assess the plane, and the company is working to get them to their destinations.
“We apologize to our customers who are going to be delayed by this,” Hawkins said. But “policy and procedure” demands that the company make sure the plane is safe.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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