Passenger flies EasyJet plane after pilot goes missing

Sep 8, 2019

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With low-budget airlines: you get what you pay for. In this case, an EasyJet flight from Manchester, U.K., to Alicante, Spain, faced a two-hour delay after its pilot went, well, missing. Fortunately for everyone, one man stepped up — fellow passenger Michael Bradley, an off-duty EasyJet pilot who just happened to be heading on vacation with his family.

An EasyJet A321neo at the Farnborough Air Show. Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy
An EasyJet A321neo at the Farnborough Air Show. Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

According to FOX News, Bradley called the airline, informed them that he was just “standing in the terminal doing nothing,” and offered to fly the plane. Although he wasn’t in uniform, he had his license and ID with him and was legally able to fly.

Apparently the decision wasn’t difficult, as Bradley shared, “[EasyJet] said, ‘We’ll phone you back’. Thirty-eight seconds later they phoned me back and said, ‘Please, please pretty please with a big cherry on top, can you fly the airplane to Alicante?”

Though undoubtedly passengers were stunned to see a seemingly random person stroll into the cockpit, it was a stroke of luck, after a recent air traffic control failure in France led to a scramble to find crew for the flight. Had Bradley not stepped up, it likely would have been canceled.

In a statement to Fox News, an EasyJet spokesperson said “We are grateful to one of our pilots who was traveling on holiday from Manchester to Alicante on Sept. 2 with his family and volunteered to operate the flight. This meant customers could get to their destination and shows the commitment and dedication of our crew.”

Commitment and dedication of the crew, or desperate desire to go on vacation? We’ll let you decide.

Feature photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

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