Dripping with sweat, racked by nausea, Allegiant Air passengers stuck for hours on the tarmac in the 110-degree Vegas sun this weekend cut the tension by bursting out into a spontaneous sing-a-long to R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." Captured by passenger and YouTuber user "joeypancakes," who asked not to be identified, the video has been seen over 249,000 times since being uploaded Sunday.
Allegiant Airlines spokesman Brian Davis told NBC News that the plane didn't have any air conditioning running during the 2 hours and 40 minutes the flight was delayed on the tarmac due to mechanical difficulties. The plane has air conditioning at the gate and after takeoff, but not during taxiing.
The uploader, a 30-year old banker from Phoenix, Ariz, told NBC News she saw one passenger vomit and two passed out on the floor. Passengers took turns in groups of three and four fanning elderly passengers on blood pressure medication who complained of nausea. She said that the airline only passed out small bags of ice and that the airline didn't serve water until the plane was in the air, as, they were told, it would only delay the flight further.
That contradicts Allegiant's records, Davis said, whose reports indicate water and beverages were passed out multiple times to passengers. When the passengers deplaned from the first plane experiencing difficulties to switch into another plane, a snack table with soda, water and food was provided, Davis said.
The uploader told NBC News that the beverage table never materialized, just more sweltering heat and delays.
Though the video she took captured a moment of levity, it came at a critical point during the delay, 4 hours and 20 minutes in total, right after the plane had returned to the gate and 20 passengers took the opportunity to get off.
"It was a really intense moment," she said. "People were trying to get the flight attendants' attention because someone was laying on the floor. That got to be a little scary, because everyone is in this confined space and we didn't want to sit there."
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At the point of peak anxiety, the groom in a bachelor party that had been out all night activated a portable "jam box" and began playing the "Harlem Shake" and got the whole plane to do the Harlem Shake dance. That's when Joeypancakes took out her camera and began recording, capturing the plane-wide singing session of "I Believe I can Fly."