Tom Miller, 39, managed to text “I love you babe” to his wife as the plane dived towards the Mediterranean ocean.
Tom said: “We were about 30 minutes into the flight when the pilot shouted ‘emergency descent, emergency descent’.
“He must have been speaking to the attendants because I remember them looking at each other and leaping into action.
“They had the snack trolleys out and the seat belt lights were off, but the staff ran flat out to put them back.
“Then the emergency masks dropped down and the plane started diving down in at least a 40-50 degrees dive.
“It seemed to go on forever but looking back it was probably only a couple of minutes. It felt like we were falling out of the sky.”
The passenger plane was flying from Ibiza to Leeds Bradford Airport with 180 passengers on board when what’s been described as a “minor fault” forced the pilot into the emergency dive.
Heating engineer Tom was coming home from a stag weekend in Ibiza with 14 of his friends who were all on the same flight.
Tom said: “You get your mask on and you panic because you think it’s not working. I had a kid next to me who was screaming, so I was making sure the kid’s mask was comfortable.
“Then I just sat there. I looked at my mates and we knew there was nothing we could do.
“Some of them were sat by the window and we looked at each other and the looks just said ‘this is how it ends’.
“At that point we just didn’t know. The plane was going down. There was nothing but sea beneath us and we were going down.
“It’s the sounds that change so much. I think that was the scariest bit.
“So I text my wife and told her I loved her. What else do you do?”
The Jet2 operated plane levelled out as soon as it reached a safe altitude and landed at Barcelona airport. The airline has since said that the flight was diverted due to a “minor technical issue”.
Tom said: “The plane eventually started to level out again and the Captain explained what had happened.
“The captain explained that there was a drop in cabin pressure and he had to get the plane down to a safe altitude.
“They didn’t tell us anything at the time though. We thought it was the end.
“It was just sheer relief really. Luckily I was with 14 of my mates so we tried to make light of it.”
The flight safely made it to Barcelona with no further issues and made an unplanned landing.
Tom said: “It’s hard but when you think about it afterwards it’s sending that text that chokes me up.
“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”
But that wasn’t the end of the ordeal for Tom and the rest of the passengers as the air conditioning had stopped working during the descent.
He said: “We were sat on the runway in Barcelona for what seemed like forever.
“I suppose it must have only been 40 minutes, but with no air conditioning we were all completely soaked in sweat.”
The passengers eventually boarded another plane back to Leeds around four hours later, but Tom described how some were too scared to get on it.
“I completely understand why they didn’t get back on, but I just wanted to get home,” explained Tom.
“I don’t know when I’ll get on a plane again. I don’t have to think about it at the moment because I’ve got a touring caravan holiday coming up.”
Jet2 has since apologised to those who were on the plane.
Reporting from SWNS/Ross Parry