A FAMILY who were told their easyJet flight to Alicante was delayed took matters into their own hands when the dad offered to fly the plane HIMSELF.
Michael Bradley – an off-duty easyJet pilot – was travelling from Manchester Airport with his wife and young son on Sunday when he announced to the surprised plane full of passengers that he would be manning the stranded flight.
Taking to the plane’s PA system, Bradley said: “My wife who’s on row 15 with my little boy – hopefully he’s asleep by now, I should keep it down or else I’ll get told off – she rolled over and punched me in the back of the head and said ‘our flight’s delayed by two hours because they are minus one captain for the flight’.
“So just before we went through security I thought I wonder if this is worth a phone call, I think it is because I’d like to go on holiday.
“I phoned up easyJet and said, ‘Hiya, I’m standing in the terminal doing nothing. I have got my licence with me – deliberately from being punched in the back of the head at 3am – I have got my ID with me and I’d very much like to go on holiday and if you need a favour I’m standing here ready to go.”
He added: “They said, ‘We’ll phone you back’. Thirty eight seconds later they phoned me back and said, ‘Please, please pretty please with a big cherry on top, can you fly the aeroplane to Alicante?’
“So if you’re alright for one of your pilots to look like this today, we’ll go to Alicante.”
A clip of the moment shows loud cheers coming from the passengers.
They phoned me back and said, ‘Please, please pretty please with a big cherry on top, can you fly the aeroplane to Alicante?’
Passenger Michelle Potts posted the video online.
She captioned it: “It could only happen to me!! Get to the airport and our flight is delayed a couple of hours.
“Then I happen to look at the original time and it changed to gate closing!! Had to leg it across the airport to get on the flight.
“Get to boarding and asked the guy at the desk what’s going on he said ‘oh your pilot’s gone missing but a guy that’s going on your flight is going to fly the plane’ REALLY CASUALLY!!!
“Luckily the guy was actually a pilot!! Probably would of been cancelled if it wasn’t for him! Legend.”
A spokesman for easyJet told the Manchester Evening News that the flight’s delay was “due to the knock on effects of the French ATC failure on Sunday”.
He said the incident was “exceptional” and stressed that Mr Bradley was fit to fly the aircraft, having just had four days off, and was legally permitted to fly.
The spokesman said: “We are grateful to one of our pilots who was travelling on holiday from Manchester to Alicante on 2 September with his family and volunteered to operate the flight.
“This meant customers could get to their destination and shows the commitment and dedication of our crew.
“This is fully in line with regulations as he had his licence and ID with him. Safety is always our highest priority.”
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