Passengers described an atmosphere of “total panic” on the plane. “The passengers panicked: people screamed, fainted and vomited,” a traveler told the local newspaper Nice Matin. “I was sure I was going to die. I sent farewell messages to my family.”
The chaotic situations arose when the pilot tried to land in Nice, but was unable to do so due to storm Larissa. He had already tried to land twice, but the strong wind always forced him to abandon his attempts. “The pilot announced in a trembling voice that he was going to make a third attempt. The passengers screamed and then he decided to leave for Montpellier.” Another passenger described the emergency landing as “endless”: “I felt like my heart was going to give out.”
In Montpellier, the misery for many passengers was not yet over. Air France had arranged a bus to take them to Nice, but due to a strike, the bus only had room for 55 of the 178 passengers. So many of them had to return on their own. Some would have had to pay no less than 700 euros for a taxi. Air France says the pilot was not at fault and promises to reimburse the travel costs.