British Airways Tells Passengers Plane was Going to Crash – It Didn't

British Airways flight 206 was midway into its Miami-London run late last week when sleeping passengers aboard the overnight flight were awakened by a recorded message telling them the plane was about to crash.

‘I thought we were going to die.’

As they say, chaos ensued. According to one man onboard, passengers were screaming and crying. He added, “I thought we were going to die.”

Airline Safety Rates Rise, with One Big Exception

What did the cockpit crew do then? They played a second recorded message which essentially said, never mind – that passengers should ignore the previous crash warning. One would think a human voice at this particular moment might be reassuring, but apparently the pilots stayed mum. Perhaps they were arguing over who should be blamed for pressing the wrong button.

British Airways: Sorry for ‘Undue Concern’

Meanwhile, British Airways sought to make this right by handing out letters of apology to frightened passengers upon their arrival at Heathrow. In a bit of stereotypical British understatement, the letters said the airline was sorry about causing “undue concern.”

No word yet if passengers will seek something more to make up for their terrifying undue concern experience.

See the 10 Safest Airlines in the U.S.

Erroneous Crash Recording – Not the First Time

By the way, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Passengers aboard a British Airways flight from London to Hong Kong in 2010 heard a similar automated message, which was swiftly followed by the canned “oops, sorry!” recording.


Published: January 18, 2012