Flight Was Forced To Return To Airport After Passenger Forgot Her Baby At the Terminal
When you hear news about a flight being diverted or having to return to an airport, it’s usually for technical or medical emergencies, or the occasional unruly passenger.
How often have you heard about a plane returning to the gate because someone forgot their child at the airport? A flight headed from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia had to turn around because a passenger left her baby at the terminal.
It wasn’t too long after takeoff that the mother realized her terrible mistake and alerted the flight crew. The pilot radioed in to air traffic control at King Abdulaziz International Airport to ask if the plane could come back.
A video was shot from the control hub where workers were heard discussing how to handle the request. Initially, they were stumped, but the pilot was granted permission to return.
Audio of the radio call was translated, and the exchange has been posted online:
“This flight is requesting to come back, a passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing. May God be with us. Can we come back or what?”
The air control operator even asked the pilot to confirm the reason for the request.
“We told you, a passenger left her baby in the terminal and refuses to continue the flight.”
“Ok, head back to the gate. This is totally a new one for us!”
While the pilot has been praised for his actions, people of the Internet have been doling out lots of criticism towards the mother. People want to know how it happened. Late reports say that the woman left the baby with a sibling and neither made the flight because of some confusion at the terminal.
It wouldn’t be the first case of a parent accidentally forgetting they left their child somewhere. Back seat of a hot car. Top of a vehicle. The store. The park. Sporting event. Daycare or school. Sure, it’s happened, but folks can’t quite understand how someone can leave a baby.
At times, it’s been referred to as “Forgotten Baby Syndrome.” Scientists say that the brain can go into auto-pilot mode when we do activities and it can cause us to forget to complete a plan. Dr. David Diamond told NBC News that “the child is quiet and out of sight, which causes the parent to lose awareness of the task they’re out to do.”
Though not as tragic as losing or forgetting a child, we’ve seen similar situations such as where people forget if they’ve turned off the stove before leaving the house. For many parents, their brains may just be overwhelmed. Psychology experts ask that people not be so quick to judge.
Click below to hear partial audio of the emergency radio call, of which some of it is in English. Judgement aside, parents can probably understand the level of panic this mother experienced.
What are your thoughts on this incident? Have you ever accidentally forgotten your child anywhere? Are you happy the pilot turned the plane around in this case?