This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
A British Airways flight out of London bound for Düsseldorf (DUS) accidentally landed in Edinburgh (EDI) Monday morning. Passengers aboard the flight were baffled when the more than 500-mile mix-up occurred.
BBC reported that passengers on flight BA3271 had no idea that they were Scotland-bound until they heard the “welcome to Edinburgh” announcement after landing. At first, passengers thought the announcement was some sort of prank. Amid the confusion, the pilot requested people who wanted to go to Düsseldorf raise their hands. He got a resounding response from the passengers. The flight was then delayed on the tarmac for more than two hours. Sophie Cooke, a passenger on board the flight and frequent flyer of the London City Airport (LCY) to Düsseldorf route, said that the experience on the stranded plane was “stuffy,” and that passengers were frustrated. “The toilets were blocked and they ran out of snacks,” she told BBC.
The flight was operated by German airline, WDL Aviation, on a wet-lease. The mistake, according to British Airways, was due to incorrectly submitted paperwork. The two airlines are now investigating together why the wrong flight plan was filed.
The confusion between the passengers and the flight crew was completely mutual, it seems. Passenger Son Tran tweeted that the flight crew seemed “convinced of the Edinburgh flight path from the get-go” and the pilots’ response to the mix up was one of genuine bewilderment. “The pilot said he had no idea how it had happened,” said Cooke. “He said it had never happened before and that the crew was trying to work out what we could do.”
One of the most bizarre aspects of this story is how the flight crew and passengers managed to stay on different pages for the duration of the flight. However, according to a tweet by a passenger Chris McG, boarding passes weren’t checked, and the first announcement the crew made about the destination was as the plane was landing in Edinburgh. So that might have something to do with it.
Mix-ups in which pilots accidentally land planes in the wrong place aren’t entirely unheard of. In 2014, the New York Daily News reported about 150 cases of airplanes arriving at the wrong airport in the past two decades. However, these cases are usually attributed to pilots being thrown off course by airports that are in close proximity to their planned destination — which, of course, doesn’t apply to the Edinburgh/Düsseldorf debacle.
Featured image by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards