What you need to know
- iPhone survives a 16,000-foot free fall from an Alaska Airlines plane.
- The owner, reunited with his phone, recounts his harrowing experience on the plane and his astonishment to see his phone intact.
- Spigen has put the speculations to rest and claimed that their case saved the iPhone.
In an astonishing turn of events, an iPhone plunged 16,000 feet from an Alaska Airlines plane, only to be found fully operational on the side of the road.
We’ve all heard of the terrifying story of Alaska Airlines flight 1282 when a door plug on a Boeing 737 Max 9 suddenly flew open minutes after the flight took off on January 5. Everyone on board was safe, but several objects were sucked out of the aircraft and fell roughly 16,000 feet – including an iPhone.
Sean Bates, a Washington resident, took to X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, January 14, revealing that he had found a fully intact phone and that it was still in “airplane mode and with half battery.”
In another video on TikTok, Bates narrated how he went for a walk and found this phone that he was skeptical to pick up.
“It was still pretty clean, no scratches on it, sitting under a bush,” he said.
“And it didn’t have a screen lock on it, so I opened it up and it was in airplane mode with travel confirmation and baggage claim for Alaska 1282,” Bates explained.
Found an iPhone on the side of the road… Still in airplane mode with half a battery and open to a baggage claim for #AlaskaAirlines ASA1282 Survived a 16,000 foot drop perfectly in tact!When I called it in, Zoe at @NTSB said it was the SECOND phone to be found. No door yet😅 pic.twitter.com/CObMikpuFdJanuary 7, 2024
As several media outlets scrambled to unveil the mystery behind this airborne iPhone’s survival, renowned phone accessory company Spigen swooped in with a revelation.
In a tweet, they declared, “Mystery solved, it was us.” The Spigen Cryo armor case emerged as the unsung hero that shielded the phone during its free fall.
In a video Spigen posted on Instagram with the caption, “16,000 feet is a new record for us too,” they connected with the owner of the phone, Cuong Tran.
MYSTERY SOLVED: IT WAS US ✈️@AlaskaAir @SeanSafyre tl;dr: the iphone’s case that survived a 16,000 feet drop from alaska airlines was the spigen cryo armor(receipts below) https://t.co/YoAypHEGaK pic.twitter.com/zFcLWg3KduJanuary 12, 2024
An email from Tran’s friend, who was on the same Alaska flight, confirmed Tran’s use of the Spigen case. Tran and his friend, Huy, recounted the harrowing experience of the door plug mishap.
“At 10,000 feet, I heard a ‘Swoosh’ sound on the left of me,” Tran recalled on the call with Spigen.
“My whole body was lifted, and my legs got pulled into the hole.”
When asked about the phone’s survival, Huy admitted they “didn’t even think we would find it, let alone find it intact.”
Tran said he saw a Reddit post with pictures of his phone on it, and that’s when he figured that his phone had survived the plunge.
Tran’s phone arrived yesterday (Jan. 15), and he proudly displayed his unscathed phone, giving credit to the hard-core Spigen Cryo case. Despite the high-altitude ordeal, the case only had a bit of dirt, claimed Tran.
Unfazed by the incident, Tran embraced the saga as an opportunity to upgrade to the iPhone 15. And in what case did he choose to safeguard his new device?
“You know it, it’s going to be the same one,” Tran said.
“The same exact case,” he declared, affirming that he’s a Spigen customer for life.
Spigen’s Cryo Armor is deemed one of the best thin cases for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which comes as no surprise given recent events.
Android Central has reached out to Spigen for a comment on this incident and will update the article once we hear from them.