Mom Forgets Baby at Airport and Other Reasons Pilots Turned the Plane Around
A pilot having to turn a flight back around is a rare occurrence and only happens when there's an extenuating circumstance.
A mother experienced a nightmare scenario while flying that is sure to haunt her for the rest of her life and make her the brunt of countless jokes.
Any parent will tell you that raising kids is hard, especially when you're raising more than one of them. You can't take your eyes off them for even a split second. The moment you look away to help one kid tie their shoes, the other one falls over and bumps their head.
And when you're going somewhere with your kids, you can never just put your jacket on and go someplace. You have to get them ready, plus there's all the stuff that you have to bring along anytime you go more than 10 feet away from the house.
Now I could understand when you're out with your children that you might leave beyond one of the myriad things you have to bring with you to ensure that they're taken care of: their organic cheddar duck crackers or a favorite toy or their baby wipes or a tiny pair of mittens or scarves.
But in your frenetic attempt at getting someplace on time, do you think you'd every accidentally leave the actual kid behind? That's like something straight out of Raising Arizona.
Nevertheless, that's exactly what happened to a Saudi mother who alerted flight crew on a plane from Jeddah to Kuala Lampur. She left her child in the boarding area of King Abdul Aziz airport and didn't realize it until they were already up in the air.
I know mom-shaming is bad and all, but seriously, how does that even happen?
Members of the crew were shocked at the woman's statement and then they proceeded to inform the pilots who immediately asked air traffic control if they were cleared to return back to the airport so the mother could retrieve her baby.
You just know there was someone on the flight who was pissed off at the delay. "Couldn't you get a childcare worker to look after the kid and have the woman take a flight back?"
Here's the conversation between the pilot and air-traffic control transcribed, below. As per Gulf News:
"'May God be with us. Can we come back or what?' the pilot was heard talking to air traffic controller.
The operator, after taking the flight number, is heard asking another colleague about the protocol.
'This flight is requesting to come back…a passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing.'
The operator then asks the pilot to re-confirm the reason for turning back."
"The pilot was overhead speaking: 'We told you, a passenger left her baby in the terminal and refuses to continue the flight.'
'OK, head back to the gate. This is totally a new one for us!'"
The comments on the YouTube video page praised the pilots and the airline for their humanity in turning back, although I do think there are still some people secretly grumbling that they were late to whatever they had going on in Kuala Lampur.
This isn't the first time an airplane has had to turn around for an unusual reason. A Delta flight from NYC to Paris had to turn back around halfway through the route due to a toilet malfunction. The story went super viral, not just because passengers were upset their trip to France ended up taking four times longer than expected, but because of the reason the plane ultimately turned back: repair costs.
The Delta planes were under contractual obligation to have maintenance on the toilets be performed by specific maintenance technicians. The closest site to France where they could get that done was in Dublin, Ireland, which was three and a half hours away. To expect people to sit without lavatories for that time would've made for a very unpleasant experience.
A couple more flights were forced to turn around because unbearable smells were stinking up the plane. For example. a British Airways plane to Dubai reversed course because one passenger ended up dropping a deuce so stinky, people on board couldn't stand it.
To clarify, the poo didn't cause a technical issue, and the news was broken by a British politician, of all people.
Abhishek Sachdev tweeted out that the stench was the sole reason the aircraft turned around: "He [the pilot] said it was liquid fecal excrement, those are the words he used. He said it's not a technical fault with the plane and he was very adamant about that."
Then there was the tale of a passenger with an infection that caused necrosis (death of skin tissue) that stank so badly passengers were fainting on a plane from Spain. The person of interest, 58-year-old Russian rock musician Andrey Suchilin, caught the infection while on vacation in the Canary Islands.
A passenger who was on the flight spoke with Express and said it smelled like a man who hadn't washed himself for several weeks.
They ended up locking him in the bathroom while everyone on the plane held their breath for as long as they could, until they made an emergency landing in Portugal. Once they hit the ground, they escorted the stinky man off the plane and an ambulance picked him up to tend to his wounds.
In a Facebook post, Andrey's wife said they saw a doctor while on vacation, who prescribed antibiotics and said it wasn't anything to worry about. Ugh.
Smells are responsible for more emergency landings than you would probably think. An Alaskan Airlines flight from San Francisco to New Orleans was plagued by a "mystery smell" that didn't disappear until everyone left the aircraft.
In other words, a gross passenger was to blame. My guess? Someone pooed their pants.
Then there was the case of durian fruit in the cargo area that was so pungent it grounded the flight. If you're not familiar with durian, it's got a papaya-like texture and smells like wet socks or sewage. I mean, just look at this stuff and tell me it doesn't seem like something that's mad stinky.
So please, make sure you shower before you get on an airplane and refrain from bringing any food that could have offensive odors.