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Southwest Flight Turns Around After Pressure Problem Causes Passenger’s Ears To Bleed

By DeAnna Taylor

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Another day, another plane having to divert its course thanks to a random incident.

On Friday evening, a Southwest Airlines flight had to turn around an hour after takeoff. Flight 1694 had just left from Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport heading to Tampa, Florida when it began having pressurization issues. The flight was already more than an hour behind schedule when it took off for its destination. It was expected to reach Tampa just after 11 pm.

The issue was so severe that it caused one passenger’s ears to bleed. The plane turned around safely and made its way back to Bradley International.

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“Flight #1694 with scheduled service between Bradley International Airport (BDL) and Tampa Bay (TPA) experienced a pressurization issue shortly after takeoff,” Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Ro Hawthorne told USA TODAY. “Our flight crew followed proper procedures and returned to BDL, where it landed safely. Several customers among the 139 onboard were treated for injuries and discomfort by local paramedics.”

“We removed the aircraft from service and continued customer’s travel with another aircraft,” Hawthorne added. “The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”


The pilot followed protocol and reported an emergency citing a possible pressurization problem. There was also a request made for emergency medical technicians to meet the flight at the gate upon arrival.

The Bradley Airport spokeswoman had this to say, “At Southwest’s request, EMS personnel responded to the aircraft’s gate.”

Related: Family Gets Kicked Off Plane After Passenger Complain Of “Severe Body Odor”

According to the aviation website FlightAware.com, this same plane was cited for having to divert on October 24, 2018, after being struck by lightning. The plane had just taken off from Manchester, New Hampshire and was headed for Orlando, Florida when the lightning strike occurred.

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DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.

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