Update: Alaska Airlines has now grounded their entire fleet of 65 Boeing 737MAX-9 aircraft pending full inspection following the incident which took place on January 5, 2024.
Alaska Airlines flight 1282 which departed from Portland, OR at 4:52pm local time suffered an inflight emergency as a portion of the side of the aircraft, located just forward of the aft-left emergency exit door, became separated from the aircraft.
From the outside, the panel appears to be an emergency exit, however, Alaska Airlines doesn’t use it as such and the exit is “plugged” closed. From the inside of the cabin, you would not know the door exists. These exits are used primarily at Ultra-Low Cost Carriers that have higher passenger counts onboard.
Video located on TikTok, uploaded by user “vy” shows the emergency oxygen masks were deployed in the cabin as the flight made its way back to Portland for an emergency landing.
The video also shows the passengers in the cabin remaining calm as wind came through the opening on the side of the aircraft.
This is a developing story.