The flight took a slight detour. The German company that had chartered the plane submitted the wrong route to the air traffic controllers.
Passengers on a British Airways flight boarded the plane from London's City Airport with the intention of flying to Dusseldorf in Germany. However, they were met with a surprise when they landed up in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh on Monday morning. The people on the flight weren't the only ones left surprised by the detour they witnessed. The mistaken trip took place due to an error in the filed flight plan. The pilots and the crew were under the impression that the flight was bound for Edinburgh. An incorrectly filed flight plan created all the chaos. The flight was operated by German leasing company WDL Aviation on behalf of the British Airways subsidiary airline BA CityFlyer. The incorrect flight plan was filed at the WDL Aviation's office in Germany. The flight took off soon after landing in Scotland and finally headed to Germany. The passengers had no idea they were in Scotland until the cabin crew made the announcement.
We have apologised to customers for this interruption to their journey and will be contacting them all individually BA said in a statement. On its final trip the previous night, the flight flew to Edinburgh and back. Someone at the office happened to repeat the same plan from the day before and ended up following the old flight 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'.
British Airways flight to Dusseldorf lands in Edinburgh by mistake https://t.co/JdPER1SNk9— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 25, 2019
The statement further read: 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. British Airways did not reveal the number of passengers that were affected by the blunder. It is highly unlikely for something like this to happen. This mistake raises a lot o uncomfortable questions for the companies regarding their procedures and their standards. This also raises the question as to why an announcement regarding the weather and the travel time wasn't made before the flight took off. It is something that happens on every single flight.
As pleasant as Edinburgh is this time of year, we’re sorry that passengers travelling to Dusseldorf on BA3271, operated by WDL Aviation, initially landed in the Scottish capital, rather than their intended destination. This was due to an incorrect flight plan submitted by WDL.— London City Airport (@LondonCityAir) March 25, 2019
Piotr Pomienski, a student at Imperial College London, told CNN that his girlfriend Zsófia Szabó was on the flight that landed in Edinburgh by mistake. Pomienski said, "I saw on Flightradar that the flight was flying north instead of south, but I assumed it was a system error of some sort. That is until she wrote to me that they're in Edinburgh. Szabó told the news outlet that she realized something was wrong when she saw mountains and a beautiful landscape outside the window instead of the usual German 'industrial landscape'.
@British_Airways can you please explain how can my morning flight taking off from LCY to Dusseldorf land in Edinburgh 😅? While an interesting concept, I don't think anyone on board has signed up for this mystery travel lottery... #BA3271 #frequenttravel #britishairways— Son Tran (@sontrantuan) March 25, 2019
"When we started descending and I saw some taller hills/mountains, I did think that this isn't how Eastern Netherlands/Western Germany should look like but I assumed we took some small detour," she said. "Then my colleague sitting across the aisle from me told me to check Google Maps -- and it showed us being around Carlisle." Information regarding the mistaken trip started to spread like wildfire and all the passengers started to ask each other where the plane was headed, under the impression that they might have boarded the wrong flight. "Everyone was for Dusseldorf," she said.
The flight has been diverted to Edinburgh, we don't have any information as to why at the moment. There is an estimated departure time of 10:30 from Edinburgh to make way to Dusseldorf. Sarah— British Airways (@British_Airways) March 25, 2019
Szabó said, "When we landed there was a bit of a hilarious moment when the flight attendant asked for a show of hands for the people going to Dusseldorf, which turned out to be everyone," she said. After the mistake was announced, the captain apologized to the passengers. He further informed them that the flight would refuel and head straight to its original destination. "Most of us found this situation quite funny. People were on phone calls trying to convince everyone that they've arrived in the wrong city."
This feels like an honest mistake rather than a diversion. The crew was convinced of the Edinburgh flight path from the get-go...— Son Tran (@sontrantuan) March 25, 2019
Another passenger on the flight, Son Tran, told the news outlet, "Most passengers sleep or work through this flight so no one really noticed we were not flying over the Channel. We only realized we are in Scotland once we descended on approach and asked the crew."
Although the news would have created panic at first, it was a pretty funny situation for those on the flight. For everyone who was waiting for the flight to arrive in Germany, it was stressful and a waste of their time. If the announcement regarding the flight's destination was made before the flight took off, it would have saved a lot of complication, time, and money.
We're sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. As we've previously advised we don't have currently have any information on this. However, we do know that there is an estimated departure at 10:30. Kieran— British Airways (@British_Airways) March 25, 2019
WDL Aviation announced that they were looking into the matter to try and figure out who filed the wrong flight plan in the first place. The unfortunate mix-up of flight schedules has almost never occurred before. Well, it has never de-routed flights like this before. Sophie Cooke, a 24-year-old management consultant, flies from London to Düsseldorf and back almost every single week. According to her, when the pilot first made the announcement that the flight was landing in Edinburgh, some people thought that the captain was joking. When the people enquired with the cabin crew they were told that the flight was actually in the wrong country. The captain then asked how many people wanted to actually fly to Düsseldorf and everyone in the flight raised their hands. The refueling of the flight took a lot longer than the passengers hoped it would. The flight sat on the tarmac at Edinburgh for nearly two-and-a-half hours before finally leaving to Düsseldorf.