A British Airways flight scheduled to land at Dusseldorf from London ended up mistakenly landing at Edinburgh. The flight, which was supposed to fly east from the airport across the North Sea into Europe, flew towards the North, eventually landing at the Scottish city.
However, the error went unnoticed till the plane landed, which is when passengers noticed the Welcome to Edinburgh messages. According to one of the passengers, the pilot of the aircraft actually took a show of hands to determine which of the passengers were expected to land in Germany.
According to BA, the fault lay with one of their German operators, who is said to have caused the flight to take a path that was 500 miles in the wrong direction. The flight was being operated by WDL Aviation, a German firm, under what is known as a “wet-lease”. According to the lease, the crew and the aircraft are hired under the BA CityFlyer branding.
The carrier also placed the blame on a paperwork error, which caused the pilot to follow orders from Germany, where WDL’s office filed the wrong flight plan.
Passengers Left Startled
Needless to say, the passengers were confused about the whole incident. The early morning flyers even though the pilot was joking at first, when he/she made the “Welcome to Edinburgh” announcement.
One passenger, a Sophie Cooke, aged 24 and working as a management consultant, stated that she often flew from London to Dusseldorf. So, when she heard the announcement, she genuinely thought it was a joke until she enquired with the crew.
Then, it is believed that the passengers were asked if they had wanted to go to Dusseldorf, to which all of them raised their hands.
According to Cooke, the pilot seemed to have no idea of how the goof up happened. The pilot is said to have mentioned that this was the first time he experienced something like this. The crew reportedly began working on a solution.
Situation Got Worse with Time
Cooke added that the situation only got worse as people became very frustrated. The plane had become stuffy and the toilets had become blocked. The crew ran out of snacks as well, it is believed. It was after spending 2 hours on the tarmac at Edinburgh that the flight finally got refuelled and sent on its way to the original destination.
Passengers began tweeting about the bizarre even soon enough. One passenger, a Son Tran, jokingly tweeted that none of the passengers seemed to have signed up for the “mystery travel lottery”.
Compensation is due to the passengers of the flight, and it is believed that each of them will receive at least €250 in accordance with the current policy. Under EU Regulation 261, compensation can be claimed if a passenger’s flight has landed 3 hours later. In this case, the flight was more than 5 hours behind schedule. The original duration of the flight was supposed to be around an hour.