Tempe newlyweds detail their experience on turbulent Hawaiian Airlines flight

A newlywed couple from Tempe were onboard the turbulent Hawaii flight.
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 4:31 PM MST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2022 at 5:45 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Tempe couple is sharing their terrifying experience after experiencing a rough flight from Phoenix to Hawaii last week. They were mid-air when sudden, severe turbulence rocked the plane, sending more than a dozen passengers to the hospital and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.

Newlyweds Joshua and Kyleigh Sinnott were excited to be going on their honeymoon to Hawaii, a place they consider special after getting engaged there. “We got married at the Phoenix Art Museum, and it was beautiful,” Kyleigh said. After their wedding in November, the couple wanted to take time off for what they were hoping would be a perfect trip. “We were actually on our way to another wedding. So my mom was getting married in Hawaii, and so they were like ‘We’re going to pay for this trip!’ And we were like ‘Great! It’s a free honeymoon!” Joshua said.

Unfortunately, the 5-day dream vacation turned into a nightmare for the two after their flight hit severe turbulence about 30 minutes before landing in Honolulu, sending some passengers flying out of their seats. “A woman hit the ceiling of the plane. We saw her baby go flying to the back of the plane,” Joshua said.

They say everyone on board was caught by surprise. “I remember looking outside, and it didn’t make sense to me that we were still above the clouds because I was like we have to be on land. We have to have hit something and be on land, and the masks came down for some of the people, and my glasses flew off my face,” Kyleigh said.

Neither of the Sinnotts were hurt, but almost 36 others on board were injured. Of that total, 20 passengers were hospitalized. “My first thought was genuinely like this is it. Like I thought we were going to die,” Joshua said. The couple said immediately after this happened, they had to get on another flight to get to Kauai.

“We didn’t have time to think. Which I think was a good thing because if we had had time to think I think it would have been a lot harder to get there,” they said. The Sinnotts say the chaos they experienced has unfortunately changed the way they feel about flying.