What A Blunder: Button Mistake Prompts Major Security Alert At Amsterdam Schiphol

**Update: 06/11/19 @ 19:57 UTC – The alert appears to have been instigated mistakenly on board the Air Europa flight, details below**

The Dutch gendarmerie is investigating what is being called a ‘suspicious situation’ on board an aircraft at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. While details regarding what’s going on are still sketchy, it appears that the situation is taking place on an Air Europa A330 aircraft which is on the apron at the Amsterdam airport.

A major incident is taking place at Schiphol. Photo: Pixabay

Airline says ‘we sorry’

It appears that all the kerfuffle was for nothing, as a tweet by Air Europa seems to suggest that the alert was triggered accidentally.

Translating the tweet, it reads:

#AirEuropaInfo False alarm. On the flight Amsterdam – Madrid, this afternoon was triggered, by mistake, a warning that launches protocols on kidnappings at the airport. Nothing has happened, all passengers are perfectly waiting to fly soon. We sorry.

The false alarm was apparently triggered due to a button being inadvertently pressed. The situation is now under control, but at the time had triggered quite the response from the local security forces.

Emergency services ‘flocked’ to the airport

CNN has reported that emergency services flocked to the airport, and that an alarm was sounded. Numerous outlets are reporting that a Grip 3 report was issued by special forces in the Netherlands. This level of report indicates  ‘an incident or serious event with major consequences for the population’.

The airport released an update via Twitter which simply said that the Marechaussee is investigating a situation on board a plane.

Media speculation was rife since the alarm was raised. The Mirror even went so far as to report that an Air Europa aircraft was hijacked by three men armed with knives. Breaking 911 also reported that the incident was taking place on board Air Europa flight UX1094 to Madrid that had been due to take off this evening.

Flights landing

Looking at Flight Radar, it seems incoming flights were still landing at the airport but had been holding at remote stands rather than proceeding to the terminal.

However, passengers at the airport have reported a state of lockdown, and a heavy armed-response presence.

False alarm

Simple Flying is incredibly relieved that this turned out to be a false alarm. According to recent updates, things at Schiphol are slowly returning to normal. Passengers appear to be deplaning safely and aircraft are starting to get on the move.

The speed and effectiveness of the Marechaussee’s response has been nothing short of commendable. It’s great to know that we’re all in safe hands when passing through one of Europe’s busiest airports.

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A false report of an airline hijacking sparked a large police response on board a plane at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on Wednesday evening.

Dutch police tweeted at about 19:30 (18:30 GMT) that they were investigating a “suspicious situation”.

Part of the airport, which is one of Europe’s busiest, was closed to passengers as officials investigated.

But after people were evacuated from the plane, Air Europa announced a pilot had accidentally set off an alert.


Wow! I was on KL 1501 taxiing for takeoff when I received this alert from Simple Flying. Happy that I just missed lockdown (and that it was false alarm).


The translator is wrong. ‘Lo lamentamos’ literally means ‘we are sorry’.


I arrived at Schiphol from Madrid on that particular aircraft shortly before it happened. Looks like the co-pilot squawked 7500 by accident. How do you punch in 4 wrong numbers by accident ?? I was surprised by the poor English of both pilots on the PA calls. Totally not understandable. Also the landing was very hard and during the flight the speed brakes were used a lot of times indicating lack of proper (descent) planning. This together with this incident makes me wonder about the level of proficiency of this crew.


The Dutch press is telling us this morning that the captain was showing a trainee pilot the various codes that could be typed into the transponder, including the code for a hijacking. In so doing, he “forgot” that the transponder was on. Despite this monumental blunder, Air Europa says it sees no need to take disciplinary action against the captain in question, or to more specifically apologize for the huge operation that was mounted by security forces…saying instead that the latter is the airport’s business. Incredible!