Pilot Turns Flight Around So Couple Can Say Goodbye To Dying Grandson

Etihad Airline Makes Australian DebutGetty

A pilot has been praised as ‘truly amazing’ after he turned a plane preparing to take off back around so a couple could say goodbye to their dying grandson.

The UK couple were on board the Etihad Airways flight from Manchester to Australia when they received a tragic text message, just as passengers were told to turn off their phones. They were asked to rush to the hospital to see their grandson, who was in intensive care, The Independent reports.

As the plane was taxiing on the runway, the couple notified crew members who in turn notified the pilot. Amazingly, the pilot turned back to the gate and the grandparents were able to unload their luggage while Etihad employees helped them collect their car.


Thanks to the airline, the couple were able to say goodbye to their grandson, who died the following day – just as passengers were scheduled to be arriving in Australia.

Becky Stephenson, the pair’s travel agent, told The Independent the couple, who did not wish to be named, were very grateful to have had the chance to say goodbye.

She said:

They are so happy. They never in a million years expected the crew to go so far for them.

You shudder to think what would have happened if they hadn’t been able to get off the plane.

She also added in a Facebook post that Etihad are allowing the couple to re-use the tickets for a future trip to Australia.

What an amazing move by both the pilot and the airline.