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airlines behaving badlyThis post is the first in a new series called “Airlines Behaving Badly,” which will chronicle the oft-wicked ways of the air travel industry.

“This is an emergency announcement. We may shortly need to make an emergency landing on water.”

Not what you want to hear at 3 in the morning, cruising about 35,000 feet above the North Sea. But that is exactly what happened to some 275 passengers aboard a British Airways flight from Miami to London Heathrow on Friday night, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph.

As expected, the passengers — many of whom were awakened by the calm female voice on the automated announcement — panicked. Fortunately, they didn’t have much time to work up a frenzy as the cabin crew quickly canceled the alert.

Oops. A flight attendant reportedly announced on the public address system about 30 seconds later that the message was played by mistake.

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In August 2010, that same terrifying message was accidently played aboard a British Airways flight from London to Hong Kong. If it’s that easy to release the beast, perhaps it’s time to jettison it.

Should the need arise for such a message, just let the flight attendant scream into the mike: “We’re going to die! We’re going to die!”

The response would likely be the same. Well, not exactly the same, but passenger reaction might well be just as terrified.

The plane landed without incident on Saturday, and British Airways issued an immediate apology to the passengers, although some complained that the airline had trivialized their fear.

The Daily Telegraph reported that a passenger said he couldn’t think of anything worse than being told your plane’s about to crash. Hmm, can you?

— written by Jodi Thompson

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5 Responses to “On British Airways, a Crash Course in Stupidity”

  1. Susan says:

    Interesting story, but even nicer to see someone who knows how to use the English language.

  2. Chuck Thompson says:

    Hmm. And that is just the airlines I have asked my travel agent to check out for our flight to London in July.

  3. Molly says:

    And yet another reason why I hate flying! If I’m compelled to fly, now I know to bring along earplugs …

  4. vincton765 says:

    Hi there,

    Fascinating story but makes fearsome experience with the flight journey…

  5. Murray says:

    As a pilot who made such an announcement many years, I probably felt more sorry for the passengers than I did for myself. Injuries were minor, mine the worst.

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