We’re crashing? Can I still get Duty Free?

August 30, 2010

There was an incredible story last week, which I can’t get out of my mind.

NBA/British Airways apologized after an emergency message was played in flight by mistake, warning passengers they might be about to crash into the sea.

The plane was bound from London to Hong Kong at the time. The cabin crew realized the error, and reassured the terrified passengers.

The ordeal was so hideously traumatic that we’ve hired actors Dick Van Dyke and Katja Riemann to simulate how the passengers may have looked.

Also, I have some follow-up questions for the airline:

1. Just WHY is there a prepared message saying the plane is about to crash into the sea? Do you really need it that often?

british airways actress 2802. Why can’t an actual member of the flight crew read this message if it’s necessary? Will crew members be busy parachuting out of the cockpit windows while we’re back there listening to the taped version?

3. Why was this message in a place where a crew member could trigger it by accident?

“I played the CRASH message? Oh, silly me! I meant to punch the one saying our featured film today is ‘Marmaduke!'”

So what happened to the poor passengers after this mishap?

By all accounts they were very upset, but gradually things got back to normal for the ELEVEN HOURS left in the flight.

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Actor Dick Van Dyke reacts as he sits courtside at Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference final basketball playoff game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets in Los Angeles, May 19, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

German actress Katja Riemann reacts as she arrives to the German Film Prize award ceremony in Berlin in a 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

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See, thats the reason I avoid BA most times… and also, coz they have the tendency to go on strike at a white hat’s drop!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Now, I understand Dick (such a lovely name!) behaving like that… if this is what Katja does at award ceremonies, do you think she is invited to many of them?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

The reason (supposedly) they have this kind of message is that in a situation where your plane is about to hit the sea, it would usually be spirally rapdily downwards, sideways, upside etc, and anything not nailed down will be flying around the cabin, like bullets at a Mexican wedding. Hence your in-flight staff will be seated and belted in, screaming just as hard as the rest of us.
Mind you, if your plane is spiralling out of control in a downwards direction, I think it would be safe to assume that something bad is about to happen, thus rendering the need for a recorded message somewhat moot.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

I guess the spam basket filter is not in such a good mood today since it didn’t post my joke. Probably has a wicked headache from partying all weekend. Oh well, it was a funny joke relating to airplanes. In any case, here was the punchline;

A box office.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Was just getting to that Spin… I actually wanted to google and see what movies she might have done.. but the urge left me on silent wings…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Ron White: So I flew in here to Phoenix from Flagstaff because my manager doesn’t own a globe. He chartered one of those small private jets. I flew here on a plane this big, it was like a pack of gum with eight people in it.We were putzing along. We were going half the speed of *smell!* We got passed by a kite! There was a goose behind us and the pilot was yelling “Go around!” So about halfway through the trip, we start losing oil pressure in one of the engines, and the pilot says we have to turn around. It was a nine minute flight. Couldn’t make it with that equipment. He came over the intercom and said “Hey, we’re losing oil pressure in one of the engines,” which I couldn’t understand why he did, because he could have just turned around and said, “Hey, we’re losing oil pressure.” *”heard’ja”* Everyone else started freaking out, but I had been drinking since lunchtime, so I was like “Take it down! I don’t care! Make sure y you hit something hard, ’cause I don’t want to limp away from this!” The guy next to me is *losing his mind*. I guess he must have had something to “live for”. He says, “Hey man, if one of the engines goes out, how far will the other one take us?” I look at him. “All the way to the scene of the crash! Which is pretty lucky, because that’s where we’re headed! I bet we beat the paramedics by a good half hour! We’re haulin’ ass!”

From “Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie” (2003)

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

OK, so some poor putz pushed the wrong button – big deal, it happens to Homer Simpson all the time. What puzzles me is why the button pusher was unable to recognize the mistake and stop the message before it finished! You can’t tell me there’s no “Stop” button on the stupid DVR?

Posted by AllThatJazz | Report as abusive

This is the opposite of one of those ‘location’ jokes. It’s funny if you WEREN’T there.

The least BA could have done is provided clean underwear and bottomless adult beverages for the remainding ELEVEN HOURS of the flight.

Posted by drgnbait | Report as abusive

Spin, the spam basket already speaks Yddish. You think it’s a scmuck?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Doc, I LOVE the blue collar comedy people. I have half an hour of their stuff on CD that someone sent me. :)

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

And that makes me the schlemazel….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Mr. B., as executive of Basler Airlines with your extensive fleet of BT-66’s, 67’s, and 69’s, what advice would you give British Airways to ensure a situation such as that does not happen again?

@Spin.. I dunno, I guess I used the term “male-rooster pit” one to many times.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Schlemiel and schlemazel. Oh, great! We’re taking friends out for dinner tonight!

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

and 10:1 the waiter is a schmendrik.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Re dinner with friends: No spillers, no spillees, no foodfights. Maybe next time.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Evil email thieves! Will miss you Unca! Go spend some time with Auntie and enjoy life.

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

I dont speak Yiddish…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Unca, change ya password… !!

Ok, whose explains those expletives.. I mean.. examples of Yiddish to me?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Schlemiel and schlemazel are two losers. Schlemiel is is the clumsy person who spills soup on someone. Schlemazel is the person who gets spilled upon. A schmendrik is a mentally challenged person. A schnuk is a dupe.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

I see” sch” at the start of all those words… So, is schmuck also Yiddish?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Yes. As are schizo and schedule….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Wat about Schwarzenegger?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Yiddish for “‘manly man in a Speedo’ turned ‘girly man in a Speedo\'”.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

So Schwinn is a Yiddish bicycle

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Schmo was the 4th Stooge in the early years. They later wrote him out because he only spoke Yiddish and couldn’t understand Pig Latin. So, when Curly would yell “Amscray!”, Schmo would just stand there asking “Gay akek? Gay avek?”

Schmo was bald with a Mullet and wore a soiled wifebeater with …. Hey, is Schmo my cousin-in-law?

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

It’s all true. Yiddish speakers finally dragged Schmo off the movie set and put him on a schooner for Schenectady.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Wow, Bob, you know your Schmo. Yes, that was the scheme to get Schmo to scat. After the Stooges, Schmo went to school to learn how to schmooze. From there, he schussed! He now schleps shavers and shaving sets — you know, the whole schmeer — for Schick.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive