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Passenger Goes Viral for Catching Spirit Airlines Employee Taping the Wing of the Plane Before Takeoff

But it turns out it's a common practice.

A woman is vowing to never fly Spirit Airlines again after witnessing an employee tape the wing of the aircraft before takeoff. In the shocking video posted by TikToker myhoneysmacks, people can't believe what they're seeing.

In just two days, more than 1.6 million people have viewed the viral clip, and almost 11,000 people have commented, many wondering why the passenger was still on the plane.

Airline Employee Tapes the Wing on the Tarmac


In the video captioned, "I'm only flying Southwest now," an airline worker quickly puts tape on the plane's wing while the aircraft is sitting on the tarmac at the Nashville International Airport. The employee is applying tape to the aircraft's left wing as passengers watch from inside. It's unclear what maintenance is being done, but it is clear the plane was being patched up before takeoff. 

Woman Said She Would No Longer Fly With Spirit


"The reason why I don't fly with Spirit," the TikToker said as she filmed the worker applying the tape. "I don't care if it is aviation airplane tape or nothing, the fact that you have to tape the plane together and then you doing it while people are on the flight like we cannot see you." She added, "That's the reason why I will not fly with Spirit, now Southwest I'll do, but Spirit no sir." 

Traveler was Worried the Tape Wouldn't Hold Out

@myhoneysmacks Im only flying southwest now 😤 #spirit #spiritairlines #plane #planecrash #cockpit #airline #flight #fly #scary #omg #mindboggling ♬ original sound – My Honey Smacks 🍯🐝 Youtuber

The woman was worried the tape wasn't going to stay in place long and expressed her concern. "After a while, they're going to need a fresh new roll of tape, their tapes gonna lose all its stickiness, you flying all around the world and you got tape holding it together. Don't even worry about it, I won't be booking with you."

Using the Tape is Common Practice, According to Some Commenters


Some viewers who watched the footage commented, saying using tape is common. "This is called Speed Tape used to perform minor repairs on airplanes. Every airline uses it including SouthWest," one person commented. Another added, "I'm an airplane mechanic every and I mean every airline uses speed tape on planes. And yes we routinely have to apply it after each flight. Southwest will do the exact same, as well as United and American."

Someone else wrote, "Airforce (retired) Aircraft Maintainer here… you would be surprised how much tape is used on airplanes. EVERY airline uses it babe."

The Tape is "Standard Practice" for Airlines


According to a blog post on The Points Guy, using the tape is "standard practice." "This tape is perfectly acceptable and standard practice in airline maintenance, where it can be used for temporary cosmetic fixes or in a bid to improve aerodynamic efficiency on a damaged part. It's not cheap, either; this super-tape costs around $400 for a four-inch wide roll."

Why It's Called Speed Tape


"It's called speed tape because, when applied, it will adhere to an airplane wing traveling very fast through the air," the blog post explained. "It can withstand temperatures ranging from -65°F to 600°F, and has a cloth layer covered by aluminum foil with a super-strong silicone adhesive, making it thicker than duct tape. It's made by a number of manufacturers, such as 3M."

Viewers Wanted to Know Why the Woman Was Still on the Plane

Passengers on plane

In the video, the woman says she will never fly with the airline, but that confused some viewers since she was sitting on the plane while filming the clip. "How you going to say "this why I'm not flying spirit" while on the plane?" someone asked, and the woman responded, "I'm talking about EVER AGAIN!" Another added, "That's why I don't fly with spirit"… while recording from inside the cabin." Another commenter wrote, "Why are you still sitting in the plane?" A commenter wrote, "Baby I would've RAN off the plane! And got my money back."

Other Commenters Poked Fun at the Situation

Close-up of woman using smartphone sending emojis.

Using speed tape is common, but some viewers couldn't help but poke fun at the uncomfortable situation. "He patted it down so it's ok," one commenter joked, to which someone responded, "Right! It's all in the wrist. You have to know whatcha doing." Another added, "Fly with Spirit and become a spirit."

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more
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