A flight between London City and Dusseldorf landed in Scotland "by mistake" this morning, with the pilot only realising his error after arriving in Edinburgh.
Passengers were stunned when they were greeted with a "Welcome to Edinburgh" message after the British Airways flight touched down in the Scottish capital. The error was believed to be due to a mix-up with flight paperwork, with the pilot believing all along that he was supposed to be flying to Edinburgh.
Initially perceiving it to be a joke, travellers only realised they were actually in Edinburgh when the captain entered the cabin of the BA3271 flight and asked people to put up their hands if they were expecting to go to Dusseldorf. They were later taken on to the German city, after a two hour delay on the runway in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Airport said the landing was a "surprise".
A spokesman said: “We’re a welcoming airport that is always happy to greet visitors from all over the world to our fantastic city, but this was a surprise for us as well as them!
“We were happy to work with the various teams across the airport to help make the trip to Edinburgh a pleasurable, albeit short, one.”
Passenger Son Tran wrote to British Airways on Twitter to voice his confusion. He said: "Can you please explain how can my morning flight taking off from LCY to Dusseldorf land in Edinburgh? While an interesting concept, I don’t think anyone on board has signed up for this mystery travel lottery..."
He added: "This feels like an honest mistake rather than a diversion. The crew was convinced of the Edinburgh flight path from the get-go..."
Another passenger, Sophie Cooke, 24, told the BBC that she had asked cabin crew if the situation was a joke.
"The pilot said he had no idea how it had happened. He said it had never happened before and that the crew was trying to work out what we could do."
Passengers had to remain on the plane until it could be given permission to fly on to Dusseldorf.
She said: "It became very frustrating. The toilets were blocked and they ran out of snacks. It was also really stuffy," she said.
German firm WDL Aviation ran the flight, which landed in Edinburgh at about 9am, for BA as part of a leasing deal.
British Airways said: “We are working with WDL Aviation, who operated this flight on behalf of British Airways, to establish why the incorrect flight plan was filed.We have apologised to customers for this interruption to their journey and will be contacting them all individually."