When Pilot No Shows, easyJet Lets One of the Passengers Fly the Plane

An easyJet flight from Machester, England to Alicante, Spain was delayed without one of its pilots to fly the plane. The airline had called in a reserve pilot who was going to take 90 minutes just to get to the airport. Passengers would be taking off a couple of hours late, if they were lucky. With other delayed inbound flights last weekend, the pilot might wind up assigned to a different aircraft.

Fortunately there was a passenger on the plane with flying experience during the war that easyJet could turn to.

Passengers were “shocked by the news that a man on the flight was going to fly the plane” however he was an easyJet pilot traveling with his family. No doubt they wanted to get on with their holiday, so he stepped up. And fortunately he had his license with him.

Here the pilot gets up and explains to passengers – that he knew the airline was short of crew due to a number of delayed flights, that he’d “like to go on holiday” so since he was flying to Alicante anyway would the airline like him to fly the plane? easyJet took him up on it and positioned another pilot to Alicante to fly the aircraft back.

The pilot continues, suggesting if passengers are alright with a pilot out of uniform then they’ll all get where they’re going and everyone cheers.

Manchester – Alicante is a popular British holiday route with five different airlines offering non-stop service including British Airways. Thanks to this pilot, everyone got where they were going with a minimum of delay and no one had to go buy themselves a ticket on another carrier.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. clickbait headline. headline made it appear that some rando got to fly the plane when it was an actual airline employee. great story but i wish you hadn’t screwed up the headline. bad form, that.

  2. I agree with Alan, headline is misleading. Awesome that the pilot that was flying standby was able to step up and fly. If anything, kudos to the pilot and EasyJet for working the logistics out.

  3. The description that the man was an off duty pilot was included in the excerpt for the post which is on the front page of this blog, which goes out by email, which is part of the RSS feed.

  4. For those who think this is pure clickbait, here is one travel tip I gathered from the article: EasyJet figures out how to get you to your destination safely and on time.
    And the Airplane clip is funny.

  5. Does anyone really expect anything less in a headline or post from this fool? His only thought leadership is regurgitating other ppls work and posting clickbait headlines.

  6. This reminds me of a story I read some time back where there was a pilot with a rather skewed sense of humor. He’d board a plane he was supposed to fly with the passengers while not wearing his uniform hat or jacket, pretending to be drunk. He would then start demanding that the plane take off. Now. After the door was closed, he would declare that if the plane didn’t leave immediately, he would fly it himself. Of course, the plane didn’t move. He would then stagger up to the cockpit, slam the door, and a moment later the passengers would feel the plane start to go.

  7. Seems like clickbait. I had this happen to me on a United flight once. There was an offduty pilot seated near me on the plane (I think he was on vacation at the same place) and when one of the pilots determined he was unfit to fly, he volunteered to go into the cockpit, so the flight didn’t get cancelled and a whole planeload of people could get home.

    I was actually grateful that both pilots did what they did.

  8. Ya know….it’s Gary’s website. So if he wants to put in catchy headlines (or “click bait” if you must) its his right. The article was certainly legit.

  9. The headline is clever and well designed. It indeed got you to read the story which is a nice story. We need more nice stories. People who write articles or produce television programs often must come up with a good headline or title in a sea of headlines/titles that we are bombarded with every day. Good story, cute title. Really now, what’s the fuss all about?

  10. The only people that should be mocked are the ones that continually click on the stories, read them, and complain in comments about the blog being bad or click bait titles continually. If that is what you think, you are an idiot for continuing to come here. What do they say about continuing the same behavior and expecting a different result? Just go back to mommy’s basement trolls.

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