Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
EDINBURGH — Passengers onboard a recent flight from London to Dusseldorf first noticed something was off when they heard a cheery “welcome to Edinburgh” over the PA system.
Edinburgh? As in Scotland? As in a totally different country from Germany?!
Turns out the British Airways flight, which was being operated by German-based WDL Aviation on a lease agreement, mistakenly landed 500 miles away in the Scottish capital after the pilot was given an incorrect flight plan.
The flight attendant onboard made light of the situation, calling out over the PA system, “Holy schmoly! No one to Edinburgh? No one to Edinburgh?”
He also jokingly asked passengers to not make photos or videos, knowing full well the mix-up would instantly go viral on social media.
Of course, unbeknownst to him, the flight attendant’s announcement was already being videotaped by a passenger. In the video, he’s also heard saying, “We apologize about that, we don’t know where the problem is. But it has happened and we do the best to bring you as soon as possible to Dusseldorf.”
After refueling in Edinburgh, the plane once again took off for Dusseldorf at 10:30 a.m. The flying-faux-pas ended up adding an additional one hour and 20 minutes to the total flight time.
To their credit, most of the passengers onboard found the whole thing hilarious. Once the story went viral, people around the world took to Twitter to poke fun at the situation.
Irwell Johnson tweeted in support of BA implementing ‘mystery’ plane tickets as a permanent feature: “I think it would be fab if you could buy a mystery lottery plane ticket. A weekend return, hand luggage only. You only find out where you’re going when you get there.”
I think it would be fab if you could buy a mystery lottery plane ticket. A weekend return, hand luggage only. You only find out where you’re going when you get there.
BBC News – BA flight lands in Edinburgh instead of Düsseldorf by mistakehttps://t.co/0yvoO57cbI
— Irwell Johnson (@IrwellJohnson) March 25, 2019
— Scottish Traveller (@ScottishTravel3) March 25, 2019
I have fallen asleep, missed my stop and woken up at the end of the district line before. This morning I never expected to wake up from my Dusseldorf bound flight…in Edinburgh! @British_Airways #BritishAirways #BA3271
— Peter James-Hamilton (@PJamesHamilton) March 25, 2019
Even Edinburgh Airport had a few laughs, with a spokesperson saying: “We’re a welcoming airport that is always happy to greet visitors from all over the world to our fantastic city, but this was a surprise for us as well as them! We were happy to work with the various teams across the airport to help make the trip to Edinburgh a pleasurable, albeit short, one.”
A spokesman for WDL Aviation said that the airline is working closely with authorities to investigate how the mix-up of flight schedules occurred. The spokesperson also confirmed that the airline will be contacting each customer individually to apologize.