Chaos in the Skies: The Terrifying Ordeal of Emirates Flight 421 Turbulence

Fourteen passengers on Emirates flight 421 from Perth to Dubai were injured as the plane “began shaking violently” on Tuesday. Severe turbulence began as the aircraft approached the Persian Gulf. Unbelted passengers were thrown from their seat.

According to one person on board, “Genuinely felt that was the end as we hit the ceiling to ground twice and smashed the ceiling in.” The plane continued to Dubai and landed at 4:45 a.m. local time.

According to Emirates,

We can confirm that flight EK421 from Perth to Dubai on 4 December briefly encountered unexpected turbulence mid-flight. While onboard, those injured were assessed and assisted by our crew and medically-trained volunteers, with additional medical support provided via satellite link.

The flight was met by medical services on landing, and Emirates has also deployed its care team to ensure the injured passengers and crew are provided all possible support.

It’s easy to forget incidents like Singapore Airlines SQ308 Singapore – London in mid-2013 where 11 passengers were injured and the plane’s ceiling was covered in coffee. Here are photos from that incident:

And here are a couple of other flights, inside the cabin after turbulence.

When the seat belt sign is on, wear your seat belt. When the seat belt sign is off, but you’re in your seat wear your seat belt.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Turbulence will always be an invisible factor. We were using a very clever app that multiple airlines were using. It utilized the accelerometers of our iPads and the inflight wifi to report where turbulence spots were occurring. I thought it worked pretty well to help see where there could be non forecasted turbulence and now it’s gone… no idea why.

  2. A lot of people don’t like to follow common sense. I remember the battle to get people to wear seatbelts in cars. Maybe those who damage the airplane with their heads should be billed. Surprisingly few babies are killed from turbulence, it is adults who have the problems.

  3. What? No expert influencer onboard to tell us all about it? Or to demand a free seat next to them cos they ++++size?

  4. @Steve

    Way, way more a million people in the US have died from Covid as recently as today. That is far more than turbulence. That is equivalent to atomic bombs exploding and killing 100% of the population of St. Louis, Buffalo NY, Orlando, and Cincinnati combined.

    That is equivalent to a 9/11 happening every week for more than a year.

    What’s worse is people act like the pandemic is over. Vast majority of people are not vaccinated in more than a year.

  5. There’s a reason they say to wear your seatbelt always. Anyone that argues means they don’t fly enough

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