AirAsia staff have been slammed for a “hysterical” response after a plane leaving Perth plunged more than 20,000 feet.
The Bali-bound passengers say they were terrified when just 25 minutes into their flight, their plane started to drop without warning.
Dramatic video footage shows a crew member screaming: "Passengers get down, get down."
WATCH: AirAsia flight forced to turn back in June after violent shuddering.
Some passengers said the terror was escalated by the staff’s panicked response and lack of communication.
“We look to them for reassurance and we didn’t get any, we were more worried because of how panicked they were,” passenger Clare Askew told Seven News.
Mark Bailey agreed, saying he wasn’t particularly worried until he saw the staff’s reaction.
“They’ve started screaming emergency, emergency, they just went hysterical, there was no real panic before that but everyone panicked after that.”
Other passengers said they feared they were going to die and sent goodbye messages to their families.
"I actually picked up my phone and sent a text message to my family, just hoping that they would get it," Perth woman Leah told Nine News.
"We were all pretty much saying goodbye to each other. It was really upsetting.
"The masks fell down and everybody started panicking. Nobody told us what was going on."
Glenryce Regan said she began to pray as the plane quickly dropped.
“I could feel [the loss of pressure] from breathing because I’ve not long ago had a heart operation,” Ms Regan said.
“Then the masks dropped and it frightened the s-t out of me.”
After the plane landed safely back in Perth, AirAsia released a statement saying the cause of the “technical issues” which caused the incident were under investigation.
"The safety of our guests is our utmost priority," the statement said.
"AirAsia Indonesia apologises for any inconvenience caused."