Emergency at Amsterdam Airport Turned Out To Be “Oops”

At Amsterdam Schiphol today the airport’s D concourse was cordoned off, and passengers and crew were evacuated from aircraft. Emergency vehicles were out on the tarmac.

The ‘situation on board a plane’ was rumored to be a hijacking, but that seemed to be unlikely once everyone was cleared from the aircraft. The emergency turned out to simply be a false alarm triggered by an Air Europa flight.

The airline ‘deeply apologizes’ and the cockpit crew is no doubt pretty embarrassed themselves.

(HT: @Bfhause)

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Aircraft are equipped with transponders that transmit a four-digit code. The transponder code for “HIJACKING” is 7500 which will send a silent alert to Air Traffic Control that a hijacking is in progress. To avoid this, I turn the transponder off before setting the new ATC issued squawk code just to be sure that I don’t set off an accidental alarm.

  2. One of the most pathetic aspects of this was the CNN coverage of this “incident” – breaking in live to go to a reporter who knew nothing and was asked to comment on what was going on, to which he continued to explain that the unfolding incident was a real incident that they were trying to get more information about the incident. I am out of the US and the only English speaking channel that’s available is CNN International. Then they had to explain how vital AMS-Schipol was as a major airport for Europe and blah, blah, blah….and just in case we didn’t have enough people on the air filling space, they had to get Richard Quest to opine about all he knows about aviation and what possibly could be happening while they had no information about what was happening, yet he found a way to discuss the variety of what if scenarios for more than 10+ mins. What a pathetic form of journalism that was on display on CNN about this “incident” that eventually turned out to be nothing.

  3. “To avoid this, I turn the transponder off before setting the new ATC issued squawk code just to be sure that I don’t set off an accidental alarm.”

    Or what I did was make sure I set the lowest digit first, which was never a 0, unless I was being told to squawk 1200, in which case I changed lowest digit to 1, then dialed the rest in. It’s really not that hard.

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