Airline Passengers Told They Were “About To Crash”

I’m flying again this week, so you know what that means. Yep. It means you never know what’s going to happen. I just hope I don’t hear this: “This is an emergency. We may shortly need to make an emergency landing on water.”  

That was a recording 275 British Airways passengers heard while flying from London to Hong Kong last week. Passenger Michelle Lord told Britain’s The Sun newspaper:

“People were terrified, we all thought we were going to die. They said the pilot hit the wrong button.  I can’t think of anything worse than being told your plane’s about to crash.”

Button? Who knew there were buttons with pre-recorded near-death warnings? What other mystery buttons do they have in the cockpit?

  • “Your pilot and co-pilot are getting sleepy. Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly for about an hour?”
  • Or, “Our compass just broke. Please push your overhead button if you have one, or at least a good sense of direction.”
  • Or, “Look to your right and left. Does that person look suspicious? Sweating a lot? (long pause) If so, please contact your flight attendant ASAP.”

British Airways has apologized for the mistake, and is investigating how the error happened. Frankly, here’s one automated message that would really shock me: “Attention passengers. Your flight will arrive on time with all your bags.” There would be panic throughout the cabin.

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