The SA Airlink flight SA1349 left Port Elizabeth at 19h55.
“I heard a deafening squeal coming from near the back of the aircraft. I totes nearly died,” said flight attendant Raoul Doyley.
A passenger, who has asked to remain anonymous, said she had been looking forward to her in-flight snack all day.
The passenger, who travels this route weekly, said, “As I excitedly peeked into my snack box, I saw what looked like a small gentleman peeking back at me. And that’s when his hands came out of the box, and he leapt up into my hair.”
The woman said she had just had her hair permed at a late night salon in Port Elizabeth’s CBD. “The man landed on my forehead and immediately scampered up, burrowing himself into my hair,” said the still shaken passenger.
SA Airlink Media and Passenger Liaison, Harvey Tripswitch said the airline was investigating the matter and had taken it extremely seriously.
“We offer our Very Important Wingers (VIW) an extra 250g luggage allowance as well as a selection of lanyards when they check in. I have no idea where this man came from. I have nothing further to say.”
In its meal packs, SA Airlink regularly includes a packet of dried fruit snacks, packed by an independent supplier, called ‘Filipino Mix.’ The snack contains dessicated coconut and dried banana.
Immediate reports suggest an actual Filipino managed to talk his way into one of the packets at the warehouse in Illovo, Johannesburg.
The distraught passenger had to have her hair shaved in order to locate the man.
The middle aged man is currently being treated for dehydration at a hospital in Durban.
He will be questioned by customs officials within the next 48 hours.
Tripswitch urged commuters not to panic and has included branded key rings for his VIWs for the next week, as a gesture of apology.