Everyone has had that last-minute sinking feeling that you forgot something important on a trip, whether it be your keys, passport, or even your phone. But one plane headed from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia this weekend entered totally new territory when one of its passengers forgot her baby at the airport.
Upon takeoff, a forgetful mother alerted one of the crew members that she had accidentally left her child in the departures area at King Abdul Aziz International Airport. It is not confirmed whether the plane was already in the air or taxiing on the runway at the time.
The concerned pilot made an urgent call to air traffic control to request that the plane make a U-turn to return to the Jeddah airport.
A video of the call recorded the exchange that took place between traffic control and the pilot.
“May God be with us. Can we come back?” asked the pilot.
Initially thrown off by the odd request, the operator delayed in replying, and instead turned to a coworker saying, “This flight is requesting to come back. A passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing.”
Reiterating the pressing problem, the pilot repeated, “I told you, a passenger has left her baby in the terminal and she is refusing to continue the flight.”
“OK, head back to the gate,” replied the operator. “This is totally a new one for us.”
Flight tracking data reported by the Daily Mail reflected that a Saudi Arabian plane bound for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was delayed by an hour on Saturday, the day the incident occurred — but it’s not clear if it was the same flight.
A story published by Gulf News stated that the pilot was widely praised for his humanity and treating the bizarre circumstance with the utmost urgency:
“In the video comments, the pilot was given loads of applause for his ‘humanity’ — on agreeing to return to the airport after takeoff and considering the situation as an ’emergency case.’”