Last Wednesday, June 12, a United Airlines flight from Paris to Washington, D.C., experienced a disturbing incident when an automated announcement incorrectly instructed passengers to don their oxygen masks. 

The confusion arose aboard Flight UA914, a Boeing 777-200ER, though there was no actual danger to those on board. The false alarm led to widespread panic among the passengers, prompting an investigation into the matter.

United Airlines Under Investigation After Frightening In-Flight False Alarm

(Photo : Tim Gouw on Unsplash)

United Airlines False Alarm Causes Chaos

The false emergency message advised passengers to prepare for the release of oxygen masks from overhead compartments. However, only a limited number of masks deployed, which added to the chaos. 

According to passenger accounts, the situation intensified as some tried to manually access the masks, while others were visibly distressed.

Parker Pitman, a passenger, reported to the media that the bizarre announcement had never been heard before by either the flight or cabin crew, making the experience even more unsettling. 

He noted that the panic peaked when a passenger, overwhelmed by anxiety, rushed towards the aircraft door.

The New York Post reported that in response to the incident, a United Airlines spokesperson confirmed that the message was triggered erroneously and that only a few masks were released inadvertently. 

The airline assured that the cabin's air pressure remained stable throughout the flight and that the plane landed safely at Dulles International Airport as planned. Passengers were able to deplane without further incidents.

The airline is currently reviewing the cause of this malfunction to prevent future occurrences. This incident is one of several recent challenges for United Airlines, which has also dealt with reports of a mysterious illness affecting passengers on a different flight and an engine fire. 

The ongoing investigation aims to address these safety concerns and restore confidence in the airline's operations.

Related Article: United Airlines to Hire Thousands Amid Travel Surge, Boeing Setbacks

United Airlines Boosts Tokyo Flight Operations

United Airlines is set to enhance its presence at Tokyo's Narita International Airport by transferring aircraft from its Guam base to Japan. 

According to Simple Flying, the strategic move, disclosed by United's top executives Andrew Nocella and Patrick Quayle in an interview with Brian Sumers of Airline Observer, aims to initiate new flights to secondary markets across Asia starting this October.

The decision comes after disappointing results in Guam, leading United Airlines to reallocate resources to more promising opportunities in Tokyo. The aircraft involved, Boeing 737-800s, will not serve major routes like Bangkok or Shanghai, as these are covered by All Nippon Airways, United's regional partner. 

Instead, the focus will be on under-served destinations such as Mactan-Cebu International Airport in the Philippines, marking United's first intra-Asia route from Tokyo in seven years.

Nocella emphasized the company's strategy to explore high-potential routes that currently lack nonstop U.S. connections. The move is part of a broader effort to utilize existing assets creatively and effectively. 

Despite the shift to narrow-body aircraft in Asia, United does not plan to deploy larger widebody jets beyond Tokyo soon, although the initial bookings for the new routes show promising signs of success.

Read Also: This Is How You Score Big with United Airlines This Summer