A British Airways flight departing London for Dusseldorf, Germany accidentally missed its intended destination by a whopping 740 miles when it landed, of all places, in Edinburgh, Scotland on Monday.
Instead of hopping over the English Channel eastward toward Bavaria, BA Flight 3271 crawled north, staying entirely within the United Kingdom. The reason for the snafu stems from a bureaucratic jumble involving different airline contractors and a flight path that was filed dead wrong.
As CNN explains, it wasn’t really a British Airways flight, per se. The pilots never had any idea they were supposed to be flying to Germany:
The flight was operated by German leasing company WDL Aviation on behalf of the British Airways subsidiary airline BA CityFlyer. The incorrect flight plan was filed at WDL Aviation’s offices in Germany.
Luckily, the trek from London to its Scottish counterpart only takes around 90 minutes. Even though passengers landed in the wrong country, they weren’t exactly peeved, and some even found the error amusing: “When we landed there was a bit of a hilarious moment when the flight attendant asked for a show of hands for the people going to Dusseldorf, which turned out to be everyone,” passenger Zsófia Szabó told CNN.
Szabó’s boyfriend, Piotr Pomienski, was monitoring Flightradar from home when the plane wandered north, rather than east. He thought the erroneous flight path must have been the product of a glitch, but was quickly proven wrong. “I saw on Flightradar that the flight was flying north instead of south, but I assumed it was a system error of some sort. That is until she wrote to me that they’re in Edinburgh,” he said.
Fortunately for everyone hoping to journey to an entirely different country, the plane refueled and then continued to Dusseldorf without further incident.
A spokesperson noted the carrier is investigating the incident, including how the wrong flight path was filed, while WDL Aviation pledged to sort out the details behind its “involuntary stopover” in Scotland.
Originally posted on Popular Mechanics