British Airways flight to Germany lands in Scotland

Passengers thought pilot was joking when he welcomed them to Edinburgh

Helen Coffey
Monday 25 March 2019 16:07 GMT
British Airways flight accidentally lands at Edinburgh instead of Dusseldorf

A British Airways flight to Dusseldorf mistakenly landed in Edinburgh due to a mix up with paperwork.

The diversion from London City airport happened after incorrect documentation was submitted for the flight.

Passengers did not realise the error until a “Welcome to Edinburgh” announcement was made.

BA flight 3271 took off at 7.46am and touched down in the Scottish capital at 8.47am, rather than the planned 9.40am arrival in Dusseldorf.

The aircraft sat on the apron for two and a half hours before finally setting off for western Germany, 24-year-old management consultant Sophie Cooke told BBC News.

She added that passengers assumed it was a “joke” when the pilot initially made the announcement that the plane was about to land in Edinburgh.

Passenger Son Tran tweeted: “British Airways, can you please explain how can my morning flight taking off from LCY to Dusseldorf land in Edinburgh? While an interesting concept, I don’t think anyone on board has signed up for this mystery travel lottery...”

He said: “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 service was actually wet leased – or hired – by WDL Aviation on behalf of BA City Flyer. It was WDL’s aircraft, crew and pilot that operated the flight.

WDL is said to have listed the incorrect flightpath in the paperwork submitted the night before the scheduled service.

As far as the pilot and air traffic control were concerned, the flight was Edinburgh-bound and they followed correct procedures, according to BA.

The safety of passengers was not compromised at any point, the airline added.

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A BA spokesperson said: “We are working with WDL Aviation, who operated this flight on behalf of British Airways, to establish why the incorrect flight plan was filed.

“We have apologised to customers for this interruption to their journey and will be contacting them all individually.”

WDL Aviation said in a statement: “We are working closely with the authorities to investigate how the obviously unfortunate mix-up of flight schedules could occur. At no time has the safety of passengers been compromised.

“We flew the passengers on the flight with number BA3271 to Dusseldorf after the involuntary stopover in Edinburgh.”

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