Brisbane (Australia), Feb 15: Passengers onboard a Virgin Blue flight from Townsville to Brisbane on Sunday, Feb 15 morning were 'terrified' after the plane reportedly lost cabin pressure and made an emergency landing in Mackay.
Elizabeth Hansen, a passenger onboard on flight DJ 656, said the 737-700 made the emergency landing after it rapidly lost cabin pressure at 30,000 feet.
"We were at 30,000 feet and all of a sudden we took a dive down to 10,000 feet. The pilot told us that the oxygen masks may fall, and 'not to panic'", news.com.au quoted her, as saying.
Hansen said she was relieved when the plane touched down safely in Mackay, but was less than pleased with the customer service she experienced afterwards, which left about half of the plane's estimated 80 passengers stranded.
The passengers were outraged when told they would have to pay for another ticket.
Virgin Blue's public relations manager Amanda Bolger said the Mackay diversion was precautionary, necessitated by a cockpit indicator.
Passengers would not have to pay for an extra ticket, despite being instructed otherwise, she said.
A spokesperson for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau confirmed they received a report of the flight being diverted to Mackay, but said they were not yet aware of the reason behind the diversion.