iPhone Burst into Flames on Flight to Hawaii

Alaska Airlines seems to be coming the Germany or Florida of US carriers, where every urban legend or strange story actually happens.

During Thursday’s Bellingham, Washington – Honoulu flight a passenger’s iPhone apparently burst into flames.

An Alaska Airlines passenger’s phone burst into flames on a flight en route to Hawaii, and the airline and the FAA say they are investigating.

Anna Crail was watching a movie on her flight to spring break when flames began shooting out of her iPhone 6, she told ABC affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle.

“When it started I thought we were going down,” Crail told KOMO-TV.

An Alaska Air spokesperson said a passenger’s cell phone caught fire Thursday night after flight 807 had left Bellingham, Washington, and was about 90 minutes away from landing in Honolulu, Hawaii.

All she had been doing was watching a movie.

Anna Crail says she was watching a movie on the way to spring break when flames started shooting out of her iPhone 6.

“When it started I thought we were going down, and I was like, ‘oh my god, there’s a fire on the plane,'” Crail said.

No word if she was watching Backdraft.

The passenger reported eight inch flames coming out of their phone.

“And I flipped it off onto the ground and it got under someone’s seat, and the flames were just getting higher and a bunch of people stood up.”

Flight attendants put out the fire and the plane continued to Honolulu.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Where would they divert to 90 minutes out of HNL? HNL is probably their closest airport at that point.

  2. It was probably user error. She was probably holding it wrong. 😉

    In all honesty, I’d be interested as to the cause of why the phone burst into flames.

  3. Normally when I watch the United inflight entertainment on my phone, it gets really hot…
    I hope this fire episode does not alter the FAA rulings on cellphone use in flight

  4. I agree with Live90 low blow and frankly unprofessional. There are other words you could have used to get readers attention, unless of course reader hits mean that much

    Just saying Gary.

  5. Oh and the “Florida” comment, I came over the Memorial Bridge right after Air Florida crashed, so to compare AS to that is hardly professional and I think you should apologize openly.

    Just saying

  6. I hope your comments re Alaska Air are tongue-in-cheek as they are one of the most highly-regarded carriers in the US.

  7. @Ghostrider5408 there was absolutely no reference to AIR FLORIDA, but to ‘Germany or Florida’ the idea that pretty much every urban legend is a story from one of those two places.

  8. Yeah, a large fraction of the nutball stories in the US come out of FL. Cannot deny it.

    Local radio guy here does segments on “Floridiots” regularly.

  9. Gary, you generally write informative and well written post however it seems that some of the posters here go off the reservation from time to time with their headlines. And while you say there was no “direct’ reference many out here see right through that. I mean really Gary? You don’t need headlines like that to get us to read you, I read you all the time, I just find as a ex AF driver and someone that fly’s on average 100K a year for business that your header lacked taste.

    That’s all I will say on this.

  10. @ghostrider5408 – Air Florida never occurred to me. I linked to a reference to ‘Germany or Florida’. And in context I don’t see how the reference to Germany could lead you to Air Florida. I do not see that anyone else got “Air Florida” out of it. And it never occurred to me that anyone would. So pretty clearly even if others beyond you saw that, it wasn’t where I was going/intended. In any case it wasn’t in the headline/subject line.

  11. Unbelievable to me that every passenger’s immediate reaction to this type of thing quoted in the media is “oh my god, the plane’s going down, I thought we were all going to die!” Calm down people, seriously. In situations like this, more harm usually comes from people’s irrational, panicked reactions than from the actual event itself.

  12. I love how people read too much into things! Let it go and lighten up folks! It wasn’t a personal attack on all the people of Florida or Germany! Read more…before you make stupid comments. Better yet, just keep your pie hole shut.

  13. Oh… And way to go crew of the Alaska flight! Alaska Cabin Crew are some of the best in the air. Glad they were there to take of everyone! Job well done!

  14. This is not a forum for personal attacks and whatever comments I made were professional. For those of us that actually worked in the aviation industry, for me “up front” there are things that we are at times sensitive about. Having just passed over the Memorial Bridge when it happened, and having flown that route, and having friends there and flown an airplane I am sensitive. If that bothers anyone or if I offended anyone than I do apologize to them. Remember my view is different from those that have never actually worked directly in flight ops. Sometimes like a sports writer that has never played the game. They have their opinion as a non participant.

    So Steven, I will as you say “shut my pie hold up”

  15. Do they have air tight fire proof boxes on any carriers? If not IMO they should as unstable batteries are common enough

  16. I am a Florida native and I found the FL comparison hilarious! The iPhone most likely had been serviced by a independent non-Apple authorized repair center.

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