Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: British family missed the doomed flight due to lack of seats

Two other passenger flights were passing close to MH17 at the moment it was reportedly shot down

Senior Reporter

Travellers who almost boarded Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 have spoken of their relief at narrowly avoiding the disaster.

Scottish couple Barry and Izzy Sim, who were travelling with their baby son, tried to board the plane at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport but were told there were not enough seats.

After hearing of the crash, Mr Sim told the BBC: “You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going.” His wife added: “There must have been someone watching over us and saying ‘You must not get on that flight’.”

The couple decided to continue their journey to Malaysia on KLM. “In my mind, lightning never strikes twice in the same place so I am still philosophical that you get on the flight and you go about your life,” Mr Sim said.

Simone La Posta and Juan Jovel, a honeymooning couple from Adelaide, Australia, changed their schedule at the last minute. “We originally had our itinerary to be on that flight [MH17], but then we changed it thinking we’d be too jet-lagged for work on Monday,” Ms La Posta told ABC Radio.

 

“Then there was another chance we could’ve been on that flight. When we got to Schiphol Airport on Wednesday to check in they’d overbooked that flight – so we were on standby and we only found out literally a minute before the boarding closed that we were actually going to be leaving that day.”

New Zealander Mike Bullot was due to fly on the same route the day before the tragedy, but upon arriving at the airport was told that his flight had been overbooked and that he might have to wait for 24 hours.

In a Facebook post, he wrote: “It’s a good day to be alive. Standing at gate with some 20-30 other people hoping for a seat and boarding pass. I get mine a few minutes before the gate closes. Too many what-ifs to think about right now. Wondering how many of those behind me in line were pushed back a day...”

It has also emerged that two other passenger flights were passing close to MH17 at the moment it was reportedly shot down. Singapore Airlines SQ351 and Air India AI113 were both around 15 miles away, a distance covered in just 90 seconds in the air.

The Air India flight had departed from Delhi for Birmingham on Thursday morning and arrived at 6pm, while the Singapore Airlines flight was flying in the opposite direction from Copenhagen to Singapore.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is require...

Recruitment Genius: Logistics Supervisor

£24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest supplier to the UK'...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Software Developer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Junior Software Deve...

Recruitment Genius: Retail Store Sales Executive

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Sales Executive ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn