DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Southwest Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing Saturday after the cabin started losing pressure. The plane is now undergoing a maintenance review.

Flight 861 was headed from Denver to Dallas Saturday night, and there were more than 100 passengers on board.

Passenger Glen Eichelberger said at around 9 p.m., the oxygen masks came down and passengers were told to put them on because the cabin was losing pressure. Passenger Josh Trimberger said the plane was about 30 minutes outside of Dallas at that point.

southwest e1526265000678 Southwest Flight Makes Emergency Landing In Dallas After Losing Pressure

Southwest Airlines flight scare

“Luckily, we were in the DFW area where we have Alliance, Love Field and DFW,” said Trimberger.

“I had no idea what was going on or what the outcome was going to be,” said Eichelberger. “I reached over and grabbed Josh by the arm because I didn’t know if we were were going to make it or not. There was no communication what so ever from the flight attendants or from the cockpit as far whether we were in mortal danger.”

The two wish there was better communication on board, but said, luckily, it didn’t take long for the pilot to get the plane safely on the ground.

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines said there were no major injuries, but paramedics did have to treat some passengers for ear pain. In an email response, the spokesperson called the landing uneventful, but passengers on board said that’s not the case.

“When you’re in the air 20,000 feet above the ground and don’t know what’s going on it’s not uneventful,” said Eichelberger.

Eichelberger and Trimberger said they recognize accidents happen and will still be flying Southwest, but hope passenger safety is being taken seriously.

“They do thousands of flights a day and it’s a rare instance that this happened and I think it could have happened to anybody,” said Trimberger.

Saturday’s emergency landing is just the latest safety scare for Southwest Airlines. Last month, a mother was killed after a jet engine exploded during a flight. A few weeks later, a cracked window prompted another emergency landing.

Passengers on board Flight 861 said they still don’t know what caused this issue in the first place. CBS 11 asked Southwest Airlines, but have not heard back.

Comments (68)
  1. Southwest is finally beginning to feel the heat from competition, was predicted awhile back.

  2. The mainstream media is hyping up hysteria so the morons of society can freak out. Guess what? This stuff happens OFTEN. You are only hearing about it more because for whatever reason trashing airlines is a thing for the media just like trashing the police or anyone who isn’t a communist.

    I have had discussions years ago about broken windows…they happen all the time. Loss of cabin pressure? Rare but it does happen. I was on a flight where the engine had to be shut down due to loss of oil pressure which could have been only a bad gauge but they shut down so the engine doesn’t destroy itself.

    Freak out, lemmings! The media demands you react!

    1. Jim Dea says:

      Yeah, I think the underlying story here is the man/boy love. They’re normalizing the insanity.

  3. pochas94 says:

    Amazing how few incidents considering all the flight miles flown safely.

  4. It happens but this is the 3rd incident from the same airlines in a few weeks. Also not saying anything other than ‘put on your mask, we are losing pressure’ certainly would scare most people. I wonder about their maintenance program. Despite all this, they are very safe, along with all major carriers, just troubling for now

  5. Al Rodgers says:


  6. Funny how after the FTC allowed the airline industry to consolidate, reducing competition, prices went up and quality went down.

  7. It wasn’t an explosive decompression. You have two pilots that are busy following their procedures and checklists. Sorry If their first response isn’t to talk to the passengers.

  8. For the love of Pete, which aircraft? How old was the aircraft? What’s the maintenance history of the aircraft? Typical local news slop.

  9. Maybe the lame stream media should report on the contract war the mechanics are having vs management. Over 5 years without a new contract.

  10. He wore his best flip flops for the interview.

  11. SW flies Boeing 737s exclusively and those planes are well maintained, however the fleet is aging at the same pace and I am going to switch to Alaska for a year until SWA gets to the bottom of their problems

  12. Bring back the Zeppelins, the Ocean Liners of the Sky.

  13. Warrior of GOD says:

    Obviously Southwest Airlines are not doing proper maintenance to their planes.

  14. Josh Tanner says:

    So the media makes a big story of nothing. The oxygen masks came down. Big deal. They’re supposed to come down. No one was hurt, except the feelings of the snowflakes on board who wanted the pilot to come back and hold their hand instead of getting them to the ground safely.

  15. Southwest obviously has old aircraft that need replacing.

  16. Folks, the cabin lost pressure, the masks came down, and the pilot descended below 10,000 ft. where there is plenty of breathable air. There was no mortal danger.

  17. More proof the news pushes fear to get ratings. These people were never in danger.

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