Talk about the highs and lows of marriage. Chris Jeanes, a lawyer from London, U.K., proposed to his girlfriend aboard an AirAsia flight as it was plummeting 24,000 feet.
Flight QZ535 was travelling from Perth to Bali earlier this month when, 25 minutes in, the cabin crew announced there was an emergency, and oxygen masks dropped. That’s when Jeanes, who was planning on proposing in Bali, decided to pop the question. So, he pulled down his mask and asked.
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“Luckily she said, ‘Yes,'” he told NBC News. “We both reconfirmed with each other when we were on the ground.”
The story has a happy ending for everyone, not just Jeanes and his fiance, Casey Kinchella — the flight turned around and landed safely in Perth. But passengers aboard the plane were shocked by the crew’s reaction to the emergency.
Jeanes says that crew initially ran down the aisles of the plane shouting, “Emergency, brace, crash positions,” but other passengers have expressed their surprise that from that point onward, the crew was hysterical and didn’t communicate in English.
“The panic was escalated because of the behaviour of staff who were screaming, looked tearful and shocked,” passenger Clare Askew told reporters at Perth Airport. “Now, I get it, but we looked to them for reassurance and we didn’t get any. We were more worried because of how panicked they were.”
Merv Loy, who was also on the flight, took issue with the fact that none of the announcements or instructions were given in English.
“We didn’t understand a word they were saying,” he said to the Daily Mail. “It was pretty scary.”
In an email to Global News, Jeanes didn’t want to comment on his recent proposal but said: “We think the more important issues are the safety of the flight, and the panicked response of the crew (and the fact that we have received no explanation from the airline at all).”
AirAsia has since apologized for the incident and Captain Ling Liong Tien, head of safety, said in a statement: “We commend our pilots for landing the aircraft safely and complying with standard operating procedure. We are fully committed to the safety of our guests and crew, and we will continue to ensure that we adhere to the highest safety standards.”
This event comes four months after another AirAsia flight was forced to turn around due to engine failure.