Saudi plane turns around after mother forgets baby at airport
‘May God be with us. Can we come back?’ says pilot during midair emergency
It is highly unusual for planes to turn around or divert midair for anything other than technical or passenger health reasons. File Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA
A Malaysia-bound plane had to turn back to Saudi Arabia after one of the passengers realised she had left her baby in the terminal.
The pilot made the unusual request to return to the airport in Jeddah shortly after takeoff.
A video of the pilot calling into air traffic control reveals the unusual exchange between him and the operators, as he asks for permission to turn the plane back to King Abdulaziz airport.
“May God be with us. Can we come back?” requests the pilot. The scenario, seemingly a first for the air traffic controllers, leaves the operator confounded and he can be heard conferring with others over the appropriate action.
“This flight is requesting to come back,” he tells another colleague. “A passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing.”
The pilot can then be heard repeating to the air traffic operator: “I told you, a passenger has left her baby in the terminal and she is refusing to continue the flight.”
After a brief pause, the flight was then given permission to return to the hub. “OK, head back to the gate,” the air traffic controllers said. “This is totally a new one for us.”
It is highly unusual for planes to turn around or divert midair for anything other than technical or passenger health reasons.
In 2013, an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York diverted to Kansas City because of a “very unruly passenger” who refused to stop singing Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You.
The following year, a taxiing plane leaving New York for Seoul returned to the gate after the South Korean airline heiress Cho Hyun-ah forced a senior crew member to disembark because she had been served macadamia nuts from a packet instead of a bowl. –Guardian