Panic-stricken airline passengers, the majority of which were French, spent several terrifying minutes convinced they were about to about to experience a fate worse than death – only to discover staff had mistakenly on the wrong recording. Around 70 people were on board the Aer Lingus A320 Airbus which took off from Dublin on its way to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, when, approximately 20 minutes after take-off, crew in the cabin accidentally put on the Captain’s favourite Riverdance cassette, and had began broadcasting it to the terrified passengers in the cabin.
The recording was directly followed by another announcement, in French, reasurring everyone that playing Riverdance in mid-air is strictly against all aerospace regulations, and that Michael Flatley, the Dark Lord of the Dance, must be held responsible for this unspeakable crime of terror, which seemed to restore calm to those afflicted. Relaxed-looking English-speaking passengers, who are used to putting up with Riverdance thanks to the inane craze which was popular in the UK during the 1990s, merely smiled and pointed at their fellow French travellers as they covered their ears, rolled around in their ears and begged for the incessant sound of fiddles to stop.
One passenger on the flight explained to us that a Frenchman who had been dozing next to him suddenly woke up looking extremely scared. “The man woke up with an almost primeval look of fear in his eyes. I asked him what was the matter, but he kept shaking and assumed the foetal position. It wasn’t until the guy behind me explained that the French have an unatural fear of the Irish and their Riverdance music, that I put my iPod back on and went back to my book.”
Another eyewitness said: “The woman in front of me was crying. All the French freaked out. It only took the cabin crew a few minutes to realise that there was something wrong as passengers were wailing, but I think it inflicted some severe psychological damage all the same.”
An Aer Lingus spokeswoman has denied that the plane was on the verge of a crash landing but has confirmed that, at least in her opinion, both Riverdance and the works of Michael Flatley are widly overrated.