A guy in Montreal shared a TikTok on Monday that's quickly gone viral. During a flight, he said he discovered the window he was sleeping up against was broken. After informing the captain, he was told they would land "as soon as possible."
Karl Haddad, 20, documented the entire July incident and uploaded it twice to TikTok. Both of his videos have been hugely popular.
Haddad told BuzzFeed News he was on the last leg of a 27-hour trip from Lebanon, flying from Toronto to Montreal on Air Canada. He was exhausted and quickly nodded off when this flight took off.
"Right after half an hour in, I was sleeping on the window, and I [realize] it’s broken. I poked at it a little bit to see if it was a big crack," he said, adding that he had a "mini heart attack for about 10 minutes."
"The [flight attendant] came and she asked if I was fine. I told her yes, and that the window was cracked. She asked me to poke it in front of her. She said it was pretty bad, and she said she was going to call the captain."
A few minutes later, the captain came over to him and, according to Haddad, told him since it was just the "inside layer" of the window, it was not extremely urgent, and he did not notify the rest of the passengers on the flight. Haddad said the captain assured him and his sister, who was sitting next to him, that they were landing "as soon as possible."
Haddad said the captain was "professional" and handled the situation well.
Despite saying in his TikTok that the crew "decided to force landing," he clarified that it was not an emergency landing to a different destination. He said the plane landed in the Montreal airport, but he suspected that the flight started to descend immediately after the captain was informed of the window. He also claims saw in the live flight map that the plane had immediately dropped altitude.
He has no confirmation that this was due to the broken window.
When reached, a spokesperson for Air Canada who said they had looked into the matter told BuzzFeed News that the broken mechanism of the window was "not a critical structural part."
"The part in question is a window blind frame assembly where the window blind slides up and down," they said. "This is a plastic part of the trim around the window and not a critical structural part."
Haddad thinks his TikToks got so huge because the songs he used were trending. But if you look at the comment sections of both, they're flooded with people either sharing that he's realized their worst fears, or that he's heroic for telling the plane crew.
(To be clear, while Haddad did do the right thing by letting the captain know, broken windows on planes do not mean that a terrifying emergency is imminent. Aviation experts say damage to windows will not make a plane crash, and that they're constructed to withstand many elements.)
Still, people reacted strongly. Some said this exact scenario is their "worst nightmare" about flying.
Overall, Haddad said he was fine, the landing was fine, and the rest of the plane had no idea there was anything malfunctioning on their flight.
He was just tired and delirious after an international trip, and this was the last thing he expected to discover after dozing off against an airplane window.