A British Airways flight destined for Dusseldorf in Germany has landed in Edinburgh by mistake, after the flight paperwork was submitted incorrectly.
The passengers only realised the error when the plane landed and the “welcome to Edinburgh” announcement was made.
The plane, which started at London’s City Airport, was then redirected and landed in Dusseldorf. WDL Aviation ran the BA flight through a leasing deal.
BA said it was working with WDL to find out why it filed the wrong flight plan.
“We have apologised to customers for this interruption to their journey and will be contacting them all individually,” BA said in a statement.
BA declined to say how many passengers were affected by the mistake.
BA say the pilot wasn’t lost at any point, but because the paperwork said Edinburgh, the flight simply took that route.
German firm WDL said it was “working closely with the authorities to investigate how the obviously unfortunate mix-up of flight schedules could occur”.
“At no time has the safety of passengers been compromised. We flew the passengers on the flight with number BA3271 to Düsseldorf after the involuntary stopover in Edinburgh,” it said.
‘The toilets were blocked’
Sophie Cooke, a 24-year-old management consultant, travels from London To Dusseldorf each week for work.
She said when the pilot first made the announcement that the plane was about to land in Edinburgh everyone assumed it was a joke. She asked the cabin crew if they were serious.
The pilot then asked passengers to raise their hands if they wanted to go to Dusseldorf.
Everyone 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 said the plane sat on the tarmac at Edinburgh for two-and-a-half hours, before flying onto Dusseldorf.
“It became very frustrating. The toilets were blocked and they ran out of snacks. It was also really stuffy,” she said.
By Simon Browning, BBC transport producer
It is hugely unusual for passengers to board a flight and then arrive at the wrong destination – and it presents lots of uncomfortable questions about procedure and standards.
The flight was operated by a German aviation business on behalf of BA. Do they follow the same operational protocols that BA passengers would expect?
Why wasn’t a passenger announcement made before take-off saying “the weather in Edinburgh is fine and the flight will last one hour”. If it had, they could have saved a lot of complication.
For the passengers involved, will they get compensation for the delay? And ultimately – what does this do for trust in BA that such a mistake can be made?
Passengers complained about the error on Twitter, with one person called Son Tran saying it felt “like an honest mistake”.
BA responded saying it did not “currently have any information” as to why the flight had gone to the wrong place.
The airline said its customer service team in Dusseldorf had met all the passengers on arrival and would follow up with them “in due course”.
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