AirAsia Indonesia flight attendants on a flight from Perth to Bali on Sunday have been criticised by passengers for allegedly screaming in fear when the plane dropped 20,000 feet.
“They went hysterical. There was no real panic before that. Then everyone panicked,” passenger Mark Bailey told CNN affiliate Seven News Australia after the plane landed safely back in Perth, as quoted by CNN.com.
Data from Flightaware.com shows the plane for AirAsia Flight QZ535, which was an Airbus A320, plummeted from above 34,000 feet to 10,000 feet in a matter of minutes. It is standard practice for pilots to descend to that altitude in the event of cabin depressurisation.
The scene inside the plane was recorded on video, which showed oxygen masks being deployed and a member of the cabin crew shouting, “Passengers, get down. Passengers, get down.”
“We look to them for reassurance and we didn’t get any. We were more worried because of how panicked they were,” said Clare Askew, another passenger on board the flight.
In an email to CNN, the airlines said that the flight was diverted after a “technical issue” and that the aircraft was being examined to find the cause of the problem. However, the budget airline did not respond to the allegations levelled against the cabin crew.
AirAsia flight crew has previously been accused of similar behaviour. In June, a pilot reportedly urged passengers to pray after a technical issue caused massive shaking on an AirAsiaX flight from Malaysia headed to Perth.