Airlines use different types of passenger announcement systems (PAs) in order to inform passengers regarding any updates or convey weather information during the flight, and the task is usually carried out by the cabin crew. However, recently, a bizarre incident occurred with the passenger announcement system of American Airlines flight AA1631, which has been picked up on reports by different local media outlets. According to Waxy, the in-flight announcement system of American Airlines has been contaminated with some creepy voices in the form of “moans and grunts” which have been heard by the passengers through the speakers.
The passengers got agitated by these mysterious and never-before-heard voices and were rocked by shock and disbelief. Some of the passengers also shared their experiences just like John NYC, who tweeted, “Currently on AA1631 and someone keeps hacking into the PA and making moaning and screaming sounds. The flight attendants are standing by their phones because it isn’t them and the captain just came on and told us they don’t think the flight systems are compromised.” Furthermore, he said that the passengers were really curious about these creepy voices, and some of them were even postulating that the system might get hacked.
John NYC further stated in a tweet, “I also feel the need to add that the “hacked into” part is the part I’m having the most trouble with– it doesn’t feel physically possible. At the same time, I cannot, for the life of me figure out what the eventual explanation is gonna be.” Not only was John, but the renowned actor and producer Emerson Collins was also traveling on the same flight. He also tweeted his concerns by saying, “Someone has made a sound three times over the intercom on this plane, somewhere between an orgasm and vomiting. A flight attendant just announced, “it’s not one of us, our flight crew or deck crew, we are all fine.” Which does not answer the question of who is having a puke yank?!”
Another Twitter user, Bradley P. Allen also tweeted, “My wife and I experienced this during an AA flight in July. To be clear, it just sounds like the moans and groans of someone in extreme pain. The crew said that it had happened before, and had no explanation. Occurred briefly 3 or 4 times early in the flight, then stopped.”
Hence, when the airline was asked about the problem and what caused it to occur, it said that all this was due to some usual problem “with the PA amplifier. There was no external access to the system.” However, the airline didn’t specify the root cause of the problem. On the other hand, seeing the hype surrounding the incident, a former avionics engineer by profession stated on Reddit, “The most likely culprit IMHO is the medical intercom. There are jacks mounted in the overhead bins at intervals down the full length of the airplane that have both receive, transmit, and key controls.”
He further elaborated, “All somebody would need to do is plug a homemade dongle with a Bluetooth receiver into one of those, take a trip to the lav and start making noises into a paired mic. The fact that the captain’s announcements are overriding (ducking) it but the flight attendants aren’t is also an indication it’s coming from that system.”