This Flight Landed in Scotland Instead of Germany

BA Cabin Crew To Strike As Talks Collapse
Getty Images | Dan Kitwood

Flying is often stressful, thanks to factors such as airport delays and possible turbulence. But at least you normally arrive at your final destination safe and sound, right? Well, now passengers have something new to worry about — landing in the wrong city altogether.

That’s what happened on this recent British Airways flight that was bound for Düsseldorf, Germany from London, England. It accidentally touched down 525 miles away from its intended destination in Edinburgh, Scotland. Can you imagine the utter confusion?

According to the BBC, passengers on the flight only realized they were in the wrong place after the captain welcomed them to Edinburgh upon landing. Some thought it was a joke. Then, the pilot asked passengers to raise their hands if they were trying to get to Düsseldorf. When everyone raised their hands, it was clear this was no joke at all.

British Airways is still trying to figure out what happened. But it appears that someone at WDL Aviation, the German company that ran the flight through a leasing deal, apparently filed the wrong flight plan.

“At no time has the safety of passengers been compromised,” the company said in a statement. “We flew the passengers on the flight with number BA3271 to Düsseldorf after the involuntary stopover in Edinburgh.”

The plane did finally fly to Düsseldorf, after a stop of more than 2 1/2 hours. Passengers, however, complained about being stuck during that period of time with blocked toilets and a dwindling supply of snacks.

While it’s very uncommon that mistakes like this happen, questions must be asked. How is it that an entire plane of passengers and aviation staff didn’t realize they were heading in the wrong direction for the duration of the flight?

At least one passenger took to Twitter with some witty — yet understanding — commentary. User @sontrantuan posted:

“The pilot said he had no idea how it had happened,” a passenger on the flight told the BBC. “He said it had never happened before and that the crew was trying to work out what we could do.”

Do you think this was a minor mistake? Or are you now concerned about your future flight plans?

News, Travel

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About the Author
Chelsea Davis
Chelsea is a freelance journalist based in New York City whose passion revolves around traveling the world, immersing herself in foreign cultures, and of course, eating and drinking everything delicious. She covers all things food, drink and travel and is always up for an adventure, whether that means an adrenaline-pumping excursion or trying a new cuisine. Follow her on Instagram at @cheycheyfromthebay and keep up with her latest work at

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