Duncan and Tracey Farquharson of London said they were on a Miami to London flight Jan. 14 when the recorded message informed passengers of an "emergency" and said the plane would "shortly be making an emergency landing on water," The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.
"We looked at each other and figured we were both about to die. Families with children were distraught and people were in tears. It was very distressing," Duncan Farquharson said. "About 30 seconds later one of the cabin crew told us to ignore the announcement and accept their apologies but the tone of suggested they had not grasped how seriously we had taken it.
"Imagining yourself plunging towards a cold, watery grave in the middle of the Atlantic is a pretty horrific thought but they seemed very blase about it."
A British Airways spokesman said the cabin crew spoke to passengers individually to reassure them after the incident.
"A pre-recorded emergency announcement was activated in error on our flight from Miami to Heathrow on Saturday ...," the spokesman said. "The cabin crew canceled the announcement immediately and sought to reassure customers that the flight was operating normally. We would like to apologize to passengers on the flight for causing them undue concern. We take such matters seriously as safety is our paramount concern."