Things got a little bumpy on what was supposed to be a celebratory Qatar Airways flight last week.
To debut its swanky Airbus A350 jet in the United States, Qatar Airways invited special guests and employees aboard an inaugural flight from New York City's JFK to Doha. Like other invitees, The Points Guy editor Zach Honig boarded the glitzy cabin and settled into his seat. But just seconds before takeoff, the plane lurched to a sudden halt, leaving passengers visibly alarmed.
Honig caught the moment on video:
But on his blog, Honig said the airline's COO told passengers the plane automatically stopped itself because its computer system deemed the runway too short (Qatar Airways has not yet responded to an inquiry from HuffPost). Rejected takeoffs like these aren't unheard of: They typically occur due to engine failure, direction from air traffic control or system warnings, and they happen about once in every 3,000 flights, Boeing estimates.
"The passengers around me were clearly startled, as was I," Honig told HuffPost. "It seemed like we would have an opportunity to deplane, but the pilots (or airline executives on board, more likely) decided that everybody would be staying on."
The plane made a successful takeoff nearly two hours later and flew safely to its destination.
Qatar Airways' Airbus A350 currently flies in Europe and is expected to start regular U.S. flights in January 2016. The airline was named best in the world this year by Skytrax for its "award-winning customer service and amazing seat-back entertainment systems."
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