Reps for British Airways have apologized after passengers panicked when oxygen masks suddenly deployed midflight and an automated announcement declared it was “not a drill.”
On April 10, passengers aboard flight BA16 were two hours into their long haul trip from Singapore to London when the terrifying moment frightened them into believing something was amiss, The Sun and USA Today report.
Passenger Mitchell Webb later described the ordeal as “very scary.”
“Just before 2am, the TV screens all turned off, along with lighting, followed by the dropping of the oxygen masks and an automated message guiding us on how to put on the masks and that it was not a drill,” he told the Evening Standard.
Fortunately, the travelers learned moments later that it was an error and all was safe in the high skies.
“About three minutes after, the cabin crew stated that it was a ‘technical issue’ and we did not need to apply the masks,” Webb said.
The man continued to detail that cabin crew announced after the unintentional oxygen mask deployment that “not all the masks had dropped,” which caused him to worry about what would transpire in the event of a true emergency.
“It was very scary — even after we were told it was all fine I still wondered what else could go wrong thereafter, given we were only a couple of hours into the flight when it happened,” he said.
Furthermore, the British Airways staffers reportedly stayed mostly mum for the duration of the lengthy flight regarding exactly had happened, according to the passenger.
"We received no communications on the incident itself from them, and we only heard again from the pilot 45 minutes before landing (around 10 hours later) to give us the usual update on weather at the landing location, etc. – with not a single mention or apology regarding the incident that occurred,” Webb told USA Today.
In the days since, reps for the carrier returned Fox News’ request for comment on the story with the following statement:
“Our flight and cabin crew reassured customers after oxygen masks were deployed accidentally,” a spokesperson said. “We are sorry for the distress this may have caused, and are investigating how it happened.”