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Last Updated: Monday, 14 August 2006, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
'People nearby started to panic'
British Airways planes
BBC News website reader Matthew Robinson was on a British Airways flight from Heathrow to New York which was turned back after a mobile phone was heard ringing on the plane.

No one admitted owning the phone so the flight with 217 passengers on board returned to London as a precautionary measure.

I was sitting at the front of the plane - we'd probably been in the air for around an hour, maybe two, somewhere over Ireland.

A mobile phone started ringing at the back of the plane. No one claimed the phone as their own so people nearby started to panic and covered it up with pillows.

Passengers were already worried about flying because of the fear of a terrorist attack so the people near the phone had their concerns increased when no one admitted the phone was theirs so they panicked.

The captain came out to talk to the passengers towards the back of the plane and he eventually made the decision to turn the plane back to Heathrow.

We were then stuck at Heathrow again - this was after three hours delay for check-in and for US authorities to scrutinize the passenger list.

Nobody had their mobile phones with them to call friends and relatives so some of the staff passed theirs around - there were three phones being shared around with over 200 passengers.

BA then offloaded all the bags from the plane. We were handed a lost luggage claim form and told to fill it in and that we might get our luggage back in a few days.

We finally landed in New York at around 0330.

I had no phone, no laptop or car and house keys.

My house keys were in my luggage, so in the early hours of the morning I had to break into my own house, which set the alarm off and I had to explain to the police what had happened when they arrived to investigate the alarm.

It was thought that the phone could have been left from a previous flight that allowed them in hand luggage, but the crew didn't know where the plane had come from. It also could've been left by a cleaner. Obviously a gap in security somewhere.

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