This happened on a Thursday, 14th of December, 2017. I was seated in Row 2F on board Cebu Pacific’s Airbus A320, bound for Cebu, Philippines. We were on schedule, without any delays or whatsoever…
At about an hour after we took off from Narita, and just shortly after I finished eating my pre-ordered meal, it was announced that we had to divert to Nagoya International Airport. Initially the cabin attendant, announced that we are short of fuel, hence we needed to fill our tanks, at the nearest airfield.
I felt so scared, especially that I am an avid viewer of “Air Crash Investigation”, and based on what was always said in the series, aircraft would usually burn fuel by doing orbits, to prevent fire during emergency landings. I was just silent and did all efforts to keep my composure, although I actually felt like almost having a heart attack. I was expecting to be home before 7:00 in the evening, and didn’t bring any extra blood pressure maintenance medicines.
What added to my anxiety was their confusing announcements. At first the flight attendant said we were short of fuel, when we were actually burning a lot, by circling the area for, what it feels like, almost an hour.
My hands were really shaking and my heart was pounding so hard, not until the captain spoke, where I felt a little relieved; he assured us that everything was already under control, and that there was just a minor glitch in the airplane’s computer system. He further explained that we were in a safe distance to Nagoya Airport, and the need for us to orbit since our overall weight was just too heavy for landing.
We landed safely and smoothly at Nagoya. We were not allowed to go out, while everything was routinely checked. It was fine, since it was winter in Japan, and the cabin’s temperature was just perfect. And since the aircraft engineer/technician is Japanese, they communicated in English, which gave us the opportunity to eavesdrop , about what really happened:
Before we took-off at Narita, the computer displayed the “clean water” as full, while the waste water as empty. About an hour or so, in the flight, the computer showed the other way around; “clean water” as half-full, while the waste water was showing full.
Despite this terrifying experience, I was impressed with Cebu Pacific Air, the captain, and the officers of this flight. They showed how important the safety of their passengers was and made it their utmost priority. Moreover, Kudos to the cabin crews of this flight – who remained calm, very professional, accommodating, and who made sure that every passengers in that flight were taken care of.
Lastly, what do you think made all of us relax, calm, and very cooperative? It was because, (1) they empathized, (2) they provided us assurance, (3) and their 100% presence in the entire situation.
And by the way, did you know how much I paid for that round-trip ticket (Cebu – Narita – Cebu)? Just a little over P2000. Watch out for their promotions, you may also subscribe to my newsletter, so I can notify you about any of their upcoming “crazy” and “unbelievable” offers.