150 travelers make last pre-hurricane 'rescue flight' to LAX

The emotion was heavy in Terminal 6 at LAX as travelers returned from hurricane-threatened Puerto Vallarta.

As they walked into the terminal, some were ready to kiss the ground and hug loved ones. They were so thrilled to be back in the United States.

A case in point: Sean Donnellan and his wife.

As she walked into the terminal you would have thought they had been apart a year or so. It was only a day. She left for Puerta Vallarta Thursday for a friend's wedding unaware Hurricane Patricia packing 200-mile-an-hour winds was heading there too.

Donnellan said he was worried she could be killed. He spent hours trying to help her get back to Los Angeles before the monster storm hit.

Luckily, she and about 150 others were able to make it back on Friday.

"We got out of the only flight out of Puerto Vallarta today," said another passenger, Ellen Vanderwagt, about Flight #9231.

Alaska Air had five flights scheduled to leave for various cities after the airport in Puerto Vallarta shut down. By calling #9231 a "rescue flight," they were able to get 150 passengers back to LA.

Their reactions?

Jack Hansen, Jr: "It's an unfortunate situation going on down there. We are really blessed be here."
Lisa Viola: "It was extremely scary. It was very nerve-wracking and a lot of confusion on where we were going and where we could go and we all had to evacuate the hotel."
Rita Heise: "I wasn't that scared. I just wanted to get out of there."
Chad Heise: "We're lucky. That's all you can say. We're lucky"

In the end, walking into Terminal 6 made passenger Martha Peron whimper.

"I'm emotional because I'm home. It was kinda scary."

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