There appeared to be nothing out of the ordinary about flight BA3271 on Monday, with everything going according to the flight plan.
- Passengers had booked the flight to Dusseldorf, Germany, however the flight plan instructed crew to fly to Edinburgh, Scotland
- The flight plan for the British Airways flight was filed by WDL Aviation, which included the wrong destination
- After refuelling in Scotland, the plane took off again, this time flying passengers to Dusseldorf
However, passengers were stunned to learn their plane had not only landed in the wrong city, but also in the wrong country.
The British Airways flight from London City Airport was supposed to head to Dusseldorf, Germany but ended up in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Passenger Sophie Cooke told the BBC she assumed it was a joke when the pilot made an announcement welcoming them to the Scottish city.
But soon the penny dropped — something had gone wrong.
Flight path map
Ms Cooke said the pilot made another announcement, asking passengers to raise their hands if they wanted to go to Dusseldorf.
Everyone raised their hands, according to Ms Cooke.
“The pilot said he had no idea how it had happened,” she said.
Another passenger took to Twitter about the unplanned Scottish detour.
“I don’t think anyone on board has signed up for this mystery travel lottery,” Son Tran said.
Tweet from Son Tran: This feels like an honest mistake rather than a diversion. The crew was convinced of the Edinburgh flight path from the get-go…
British Airways said the problem started when an incorrect flight plan was filed by WDL Aviation, which operated the flight on behalf of the airline.
Officials say the pilot followed the flight plan for Edinburgh.
Air traffic control officials also were following the same flight plan and saw nothing amiss.
A British Airways spokesperson told the BBC the plane had flown to Edinburgh the day before so the “involuntary stopover” may have been due to the flight plan being repeated by mistake.
WDL aviation said it was working with authorities to work out what caused the “obviously unfortunate mix-up”.
Ms Cooke said the plane was on the tarmac in Scotland for close to two hours.
After the short visit to Scotland, the flight was refuelled and set off again, this time heading directly to Dusseldorf.
The British Airways spokesperson said the airline had contacted customers individually to apologise for the surprise stopover.