Spirit Airlines passengers told to put on life vests: ‘Nerve racking’

FILE - A Spirit Airlines 319 Airbus approaches Manchester Boston Regional Airport for a landing, Friday, June 2, 2023, in Manchester, N.H. What's next for Spirit Airlines, now that it won't be merging with JetBlue? Some Wall Street analysts are starting to raise the possibility of bankruptcy. Spirit Airlines stock was falling again on Wednesday, Jan 17, 2024, a day after a federal judge blocked JetBlue's proposed $3.8 billion purchase of Spirit. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)(AP/Charles Krupa)

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Passengers on a Spirit Airlines flight from Jamaica to Florida were told to prepare for a water emergency Saturday after a possible mechanical issue.

Flight NK270 took off from Montego Bay on Saturday afternoon, headed to Fort Lauderdale, before returning to its origin shortly after takeoff “following a suspected mechanical issue,” the airlines said in a statement. 

Passengers were told to put on life vests and prepare for a water landing out of an abundance of caution, the airline said.

The Airbus A321 landed safely at Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport (MBJ) and guests deplaned normally, the airline said, adding that “the mechanical issue did not affect flight safety.” Passengers were put on a new flight to Fort Lauderdale, where they arrived just under 45 minutes behind schedule, according to FlightAware data.

“The pilot told us to prepare for a water landing and the highest emergency activated at MBJ,” one passenger told the Jamaican daily newspaper The Gleaner, adding, “We were told the aircraft lost pressure.”

The passenger added: “It was nerve racking.”

The airline said the aircraft would be thoroughly evaluated by its maintenance team.

“We apologize to our guests for any inconvenience,” the airline said.

—Kathryn Krupnik contributed reporting.

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