A Malaysia-bound plane had to return to Saudi Arabia after a passenger realised she had left her baby at the airport terminal.
The pilot, who was flying the plane en route to Kuala Lumpur, made the surprising request to return to the airport in Jeddah shortly after takeoff when the passenger informed the cabin crew she had forgotten her child.
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 go back to King Abdulaziz airport.
“May God be with us. Can we come back?” the pilot asks. 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 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 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 rare for planes to turn around or divert midair for anything unless there is a technical emergency or anything related to passenger health reasons.
Earlier cases of a flight turning back for reasons apart from the two emergency reasons include an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to New York being diverted to Kansas City, back in 2013, because of a ‘very unruly passenger’ who refused to stop singing Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’.