Man boards wrong plane, realizes mistake just before takeoff

A man traveling home from two weeks in Turkey almost ended up flying to the wrong destination. Matt Hodgetts, 56, only realized the mistake when making a comment to other passengers and realizing that they were going to Gatwick Airport, on the outskirts of London, and not to Birmingham. The destinations are more than 220 km apart.

To the British tabloid The Sun, the man told how the misunderstanding happened. “I crossed the air bridge, walked to the plane, presented my boarding pass and sat down,” says he, who works as a driver.

“I said, ‘I can’t wait to get back to Birmingham.’ People started laughing and said, ‘You mean Gatwick?'” he says, recalling the moment.

He further says that, after a security check, he was instructed to “go ahead” and that he was not questioned by an airline employee who validated his boarding pass before he boarded the wrong aircraft.

When he realized his mistake, Matt desperately called a stewardess and explained the situation. As the plane had already started the process of leaving the boarding gate, he still had to wait about 15 minutes until he managed to change planes.

In a note released after the incident, EasyJet said the situation was quickly resolved and apologized for the error. “Once the error was realized, prior to departure, the passenger was transferred to the correct flight which was being boarded at the same time through the same gate and we regret any inconvenience caused.”

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