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Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding


Not lost in translation, unfortunately

(How did I miss this for 5 days? Then discover it via Sideswipe in the NZ Herald?)

From http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/6190964/Passengers-panic-as-cabin-crew-plays-incorrect-message-saying-plane-to-ditch.html.

Aer Lingus cabin crew caused panic on a Dublin to Paris flight by accidentally playing a message in French which warned that the plane was about to make an emergency landing.

Panic-stricken passengers, of which the majority were French, spent several terrifying minutes convinced they were about to plunge into the sea only to discover staff had put on the wrong announcement.

Around 70 people were on board the A320 Airbus which took off from Dublin on its way to Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.

Approximately 20 minutes after take-off, an announcement in English advised passengers that the plane was passing through an area of turbulence, and to return to their seats and fasten their seat belts.

It was directly followed by another announcement, this time in French.

Relaxed-looking English-speaking passengers smiled at their fellow French travellers and presumed they were listening to the same message.

However, this one received a very different response that could not be explained by cultural differences as the French began to scream, shake and cry.

One passenger told the Irish Examiner newspaper that a Frenchman who had been dozing next to him suddenly woke up and looked very startled.

"He translated what had been said to me. The message, he said, was that we should prepare for an emergency landing, note where the emergency exits were and await instructions from the captain. As there was turbulence as well I got quite alarmed.

"The woman behind me was crying. All the French freaked out," he added.

A few agonising minutes later, the cabin crew realised there was something wrong as passengers were wailing.

In fact, a steward had simply pressed the wrong pre-recorded message – warning the plane was about to make an emergency landing.

The aircraft was over the sea at the time and some passengers believed the plane was about to ditch.

"They then went back on the PA system and apologised for playing the wrong announcement in French," the passenger said.

An Aer Lingus spokeswoman confirmed that a pre-recorded message in French about the emergency landing had been accidentally pressed instead of the turbulence warning.

"We subsequently clarified this and apologised to our passengers. It is a very unusual occurrence," he said.

The mid-air drama happened on August 4 but was not reported in France until yesterday.

French nerves are still jangling following the still unexplained crash of an Airbus A330-200 belonging to Air France, the national carrier.

Flight 447 plunged into the ocean after taking off from Brazil for Paris, killing all 228 on board. It was the company's worst-ever disaster.

Investigators said last month they expected it would take at least 18 months year to reach conclusions about the causes of the crash, after submarines failed to detect the plane's two black boxes.

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