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I think this was a made for TV movie, and a Stephen King novel, but I just looked up his works and nothing rang a bell.

The story was about an airplane that flew through some kind of portal or vortex while the passengers were asleep. When they woke up, everyone else on the plane was gone. They landed in a world which looked like the normal world except there were no people. The world appeared as kind of drab, colorless, lifeless, but I'm not sure about that. One of the cast was a blind girl, about middle school age.

Eventually, some kind of monster appeared, which was depicted (pretty cheesily) as a big floating pac-man looking thing that ate the people. Eventually they realized they had to get back on the plane and fly back through the portal while they were sleeping. Except the pilot offered to stay awake to pilot them into the portal, and then he died or went off to where everyone else disappeared to.

Rough estimate of time was the 1990s.

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

This is definitely a Stephen King story: The Langoliers. It was a short story in Four Past Midnight.

Description from IMDB:

Most of the passengers on an airplane disappear, and the remainder land the plane in a mysteriously barren airport... it's like the world is dead. No one is there, the air is still, sound doesn't echo, the food is tasteless. And a distant sound is heard coming closer. A race of monstrous beings bent on their destruction is heading for them, eating everything in sight.

The best thing about that movie was Bronson Pinchot(Balkie), though the runway-eating Pac-Men (good description) were fun to watch.

I actually passed through Bangor's airport during the filming of this while on a vacation. Saw the plane on the tarmac, even have a picture!

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It’s interesting how adaptations of Stephen King stories are so hit-and-miss. Some are terrific while others are just horrible. Maybe that’s why he created his Dollar-Baby program. – Synetech Mar 14 '12 at 3:01

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