An automated crash message, which was played 35,000ft in the air on the night flight BA 0206 from Miami bound for Heathrow, shook up passengers.
The pre-recorded message said: “This is an emergency announcement. We may shortly need to make an emergency landing on water.”
As fear filled the cabin, an air stewardess came over the tannoy to tell distressed passengers to ignore the announcement.
According to passengers, the error wasn’t properly explained by staff until after the plane had landed at Heathrow and apology letters were handed out.
A BA spokesman told Yahoo! News on Tuesday that last Friday’s crash message was played in error.
“There was a technical fault and the announcement was triggered. However, cabin crew cancelled it immediately and the problem was quickly rectified.
“It’s rare but can happen on all modern airlines as they use the same system.”
One passenger, from Edinburgh, spoke of the terrifying ordeal to ‘The Sun’: “It was about 3am. An alarm sounded and we were told we were about to land in the sea. I thought we were going to die.
“My wife was crying and passengers were screaming. Then they played an announcement telling us to just ignore the warnings.”
This is the second time a crash message has mistakenly been played onboard a BA flight. Last year, an automated female voice warned passengers to brace themselves for an emergency landing from Heathrow to Hong Kong.
The airline apologised for the "undue distress."