Pilot 'gets lost' and accidentally flies to Edinburgh instead of Germany
On Monday, passengers boarded the 7:47am flight from London to Düsseldorf in Germany, and were surprised to land in an entirely different country. Instead of heading east, the pilot 'got lost' and flew north, making an unscheduled arrival at 9am in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Hey, those cities are only 741 miles apart. Close enough!)
The plane was operated by WDL Aviation on behalf of British Airways and reportedly operators gave the pilots and crew the wrong flight path. On Twitter, confused passengers complained about the diversion. "I have fallen asleep, missed my stop and woken up at the end of the district line before," wrote @PJamesHamilton. "This morning I never expected to wake up from my Dusseldorf bound flight...in Edinburgh!"
"Can you please explain how can my morning flight taking off from LCY to Düsseldorf land in Edinburgh?" Twitter user @sontrantuan asked British Airways. "While an interesting concept, I don't think anyone on board has signed up for this mystery travel lottery." @abbas_panjwani replied, "Did like no-one look out the window and get suspicious when they hadn't gone over water about 10 minutes after take-off?" @sontrantuan answered, "This feels like an honest mistake rather than a diversion. The crew was convinced of the Edinburgh flight path from the get-go."
Sophie Cooke, a passenger on the flight who flies from London to Düsseldorf every week, told the BBC that when the pilot announced they were landing in Edinburgh, everyone assumed it was a joke. However, the cabin crew was quite serious. When the pilot asked who was heading to Düsseldorf, all the passengers raised their hands.
"The pilot said he had no idea how it had happened. He said it had never happened before and that the crew was trying to work out what we could do," Sophie recounted. What's more, after landing in Edinburgh, the plane sat on the tarmac for at least an hour and a half before flying to Düsseldorf. "It became very frustrating. The toilets were blocked and they ran out of snacks. It was also really stuffy," Sophie added.
In response, British Airways told Edinburgh Live, "We are working with WDL Aviation, who operated this flight on behalf of British Airways, to establish why the incorrect flight plan was filed. We have apologised to customers for this interruption to their journey and will be contacting them all individually."
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Edinburgh Airport said, "We’re a welcoming airport that is always happy to greet visitors from all over the world to our fantastic city, but this was a surprise for us as well as them! We were happy to work with the various teams across the airport to help make the trip to Edinburgh a pleasurable, albeit short, one."
The plane reportedly took off from Edinburgh Airport at 10:30am and arrived safely in Düsseldorf. (And hopefully the crew gave the disgruntled passengers some complimentary drinks.)