A man is suing Southwest Airlines after an incident in 2014 when a plane landed at the wrong airport, which caused passengers to be tossed around and bags to fly out of overhead compartments. (iStock)
A man is suing Southwest Airlines after the plane he was on landed at the wrong airport, causing him “mental anguish.”
The incident occurred in 2014, when Flight 4013 traveling from Chicago to Missouri landed at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport seven miles from the intended destination of Branson Airport.
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The biggest difference between the two airports is the length of the runways. M. Graham Clark Airport’s longest runway is 3,738 feet, while Branson Airport's runway is 7,140 feet long, which resulted in an abrupt landing with heavy braking, causing passengers to be tossed around and baggage to fly out of the overhead bins, the Branson Tri-Lakes News reports.
The two pilots were suspended from active flying while the National Transportation Safety Board investigated the mistake, according to USA Today. At the time, the airline apologized, refunded passengers’ tickets and offered them an additional travel credit as a “gesture of goodwill,” an airline spokesperson told USA Today.
The passenger, Troy Haines, who is suing Southwest, claims he now suffers “mental anguish, fear and anxiety” as a result of the plane’s rough landing and is seeking $74,999.99 in damages, the Branson Tri-Lakes News reports.
According to a petition filed by his attorney, Haines was “immediately struck with fear and anxiety over potentially crashing.” He has since suffered a panic attack that forced him to be removed from another flight before takeoff. Haines was also allegedly forced to find employment at a lower paying job because he could no longer travel for work.
The petition claims the incident occurred because the pilots decided to make a visual runway approach and misidentified the airport. The captain had allegedly never flown into the Branson airport before and the first officer had only flown in once.
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A spokesperson for Southwest told Fox News the company is aware of the suit but it is unable to comment due to now-pending litigation.
Michelle Gant is a writer and editor for Fox News Lifestyle.