Pilot Turns Plane Around So Elderly Couple Can Visit Dying Grandson

Alex Beltyukov - RuSpotters Team

A pilot turned a plane around so two of his passengers could say goodbye to their dying grandson.

The flight from Manchester airport was Australia-bound and taxiing in preparation for take off when the grandparents were alerted to the young man’s critical condition by their son-in-law.

Becky Stephenson, the couple’s travel agent from Bradford told the Independent, ‘They passed the message to the crew, who spoke to the captain and he turned the plane back.’


On behalf of the elderly couple, who have chosen to remain anonymous, Stephenson explained:

They were taxiing on the runway when they got the text message saying their grandson was in intensive care and they needed to get there.

The pilot turned the plane around and headed back to the boarding gate, while cabin crew readied the couple’s bags and arranged for them to be taken directly to their car so they could return home.

Their grandson died the following day when the passengers were scheduled to be arriving in Australia.


Stephenson added the couple were overwhelmed by the Ethiad crew response to this tragic turn of events.

The Ethiad pilot has been praised for his selfless act and overwhelming display of empathy, dubbed ‘truly amazing’ by commentators.

United Airlines: Take note.

Francesca Donovan

Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.