The story here isn’t like in the movies where a passenger heroically rushes into the pilot’s seat to save the plane from certain disaster although the heroic part is pretty much deserved.
An EasyJet flight to Alicante, Spain, had already been delayed for two hours at Manchester Airport for the simple reason that the plane’s pilot hadn’t shown up. That would have been a big bummer for all the passengers who were eager to go on vacation. But luckily for them, one of those eager passengers was Michael Bradley who happened to be an off-duty EasyJet pilot himself.
Watch the pilot make the announcement below.
[rumble video_id=v5jh19 domain_id=u7nb2]
Video credit: Rumble
With some good-nature cajoling from Michael’s wife, she convinced him to call up the airline’s office and offer to stand in for the missing pilot. Michael said that he had his pilot’s license with him so he was ready to go if they didn’t mind his casual attire. The airline happily agreed and the flight took off when it otherwise would have been canceled.
One of the passengers filmed Michael making the announcement that was met by cheers from everyone: “My wife who’s on row 15 with my little boy – hopefully, he’s asleep by now, I should keep it down or else I’ll get told off – she rolled over and punched me in the back of the head and said ‘our flight’s delayed by two hours because they are minus one captain for the flight.
”So just before we went through security I thought, I wonder if this is worth a phone call. I think it is because I’d like to go on holiday.
“I phoned up easyJet and said, ‘Hiya, I’m standing in the terminal doing nothing. I have got my license with me – deliberately from being punched in the back of the head at 3 am – I have got my ID with me and I’d very much like to go on holiday. And if you need a favor I’m standing here ready to go.”
Just 38 seconds later, they called back, saying, “Please, please, pretty please with a big cherry on top, can you fly the airplane to Alicante?”
Decked out in his holiday outfit, Michael finished by saying: “So if you’re alright for one of your pilots to look like this today, we’ll go to Alicante.”
One of the passengers, Michelle Hannah Potts, said: “It could only happen to me! We got to the airport and our flight was delayed a couple of hours.
“The guy at the boarding desk said, ‘your pilot’s gone missing but a guy that’s going on your flight is going to fly the plane.’
“Luckily the guy was actually a pilot! The flight probably would have been canceled if it wasn’t for him. Legend!”
In the meantime, EasyJet clarified that Michael was legally allowed to fly since he had his pilot’s license with him and had been well-rested before the flight. They also praised him for “going the extra mile.”
The airline continued: “We are grateful to one of our pilots who was traveling on holiday from Manchester to Alicante with his family and volunteered to operate the flight.
“This meant customers could get to their destination and shows the commitment and dedication of our crew.
“This is fully in line with regulations as he had his license and ID with him. Safety is always our highest priority.”
The delay was caused by a failure in French Air Traffic Control (ATC) and disrupted crew rotations at a time when the airline is already short-staffed as it is.