Travel delegates from the Advantage conference flying back from Bodrum on today's Pegasus flight PC5121 have been diverted to Izmir airport in Turkey following an in-flight emergency.

The plane departed from Bodrum at 7am this morning (5:00 GMT) mostly with delegates from the conference.

Editor of Travel Bulletin, Lauretta Wright, was on the flight. She said: "As the flight was half empty most delegates decided to spread out and get some shut eye. About an hour into the journey I was woken by a flight attendant telling me to fasten my seat belt. I thought it was strange as there was no turbulence. Suddenly the plane nosed-dived into a steep descent and through the tannoy we all heard 'emergency descent' three times. We were then told to adopt the brace position. I honestly thought I was going to die.

"A few minutes later the flight attendant explained that there was a problem with air cabin pressure and that we have to divert to another airport. We were all so relieved and when the plane landed we all applauded."

Passengers are currently awaiting a new aircraft at Izmir Airport.

Lauretta said: "I feel the situation should have been handled differently. Hearing the words 'emergency descent' followed by 'brace' you immediately think the worst is going to happen, when all it really was a malfunction in cabin pressure. Some delegates commented that as we were close to Syria something more sinister was happening. I myself thought it was engine failure.

"As I write this (07.39 GMT) we are sat in Izmir Airport awaiting a new aircraft to get us back to Gatwick. People are still shedding tears and hugs after the ordeal with some vowing never to fly again. I'm just hoping that by the end of today we'll all be safe back at home."

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