By Ken Hegan for MSN

Imagine you were grounded on a runway for hours in the brutal Nevada sun. Would you freak out? Mutiny? Or break into song?

This happened last Sunday at McCarran International Airport. Passengers were stuck on two consecutive planes on the Las Vegas tarmac for hours without air conditioning or water. The temperature outside the plane reached a vicious 42°Celsius (108°F).

Allegiant
Allegiant Air flight 592 was supposed to depart for Phoenix, but was grounded by an apparent medical emergency. The passengers switched planes but mechanical issues kept them grounded on the hot desert tarmac for hours.

“With no water, I just honestly didn’t think they cared about the well-being of the customers,” passenger Jenisis Altamirano said to ABC News affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix. Passengers sufffered bloody noses, vomiting, and passing out.

Sounds about as much fun as a Carnival hell cruise.

“The plane was very unsafe for anyone to be on,” passenger Mike Murphy wrote after the ABC story. “I felt like a riot was about to break out! People were screaming bloody murder at the top of their lungs for the plane to return to the terminal so people could get off! The crew refused us water because they said it would “take too long!”

This wretched scene could’ve spiralled into violence and maybe even cannibalism. But then music soothed the desperate crowd. One passenger, Dustin Kaelberer, posted this uplifting video on Reddit, and wrote, “Flight attendants leave us alone to our devices after 5 hours, 2 planes, no snacks, no water, no A/C. Two people passed out, two vomited and to avoid a mutiny, the passengers banded together in song.”

The 90-second video shows the laughing passengers, delirious from heat, breaking into I Believe I Can Fly, a ’90s slow jam by R. Kelly. They particularly enjoy singing the chorus:

I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly

Sure, they’re horribly out of tune but give them a break, their throats were parched [and unlike R. Kelly, they didn’t pee on anybody]. All in all, a rather sweet way to get through a nightmare.

Their vocal talents must have convinced the budget airline to finally fix the problem. Hours after it’s scheduled departure time, the plane took wing and landed safely in Phoenix.

“While we’re glad that our customers were able to make light of the delay by singing an R. Kelly song, we take these matters very seriously,” the airline said in a statement. According to Allegiant, each passenger was given a $100 credit for future travel. Awww, how thoughtful!

If this happened to you, what song would you sing?

— Ken Hegan

 

Read more of Ken’s travel stories here

Twitter: @KenHegan

Photo: Larry MacDougal / CP Images

Further sources: ABC, The Consumerist

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