Getting ready for an airline flight can be pretty stressful, and remembering to haul all your belongings with you is a struggle for plenty of people. If you forget a carry-on bag in the terminal you might find yourself in a tight spot, but there’s little chance the pilot will turn around in mid-air so you can grab it.
In rare cases, mostly a major emergency, flights are generally cleared to return to airports to collect a forgotten item. A strange emergency case ensued at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz International Airport after a woman forgot her newborn baby at the airport.
The pilot, en route to Kuala Lumpur, made the unusual request to return to the airport in Jeddah shortly after takeoff when the passenger told cabin crew she had forgotten her child.
Reports noted that a subsequent conversation between the Saudia Airlines pilot and air traffic control revealed the pilot as saying, “May God be with us. Can we come back or what?
“This flight is requesting to come back. A passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing.”
Eventually the air traffic personnel had no choice but to allow the pilot to return. “Okay, head back to the gate,” they responded. “This is a totally new one for us!”
The pilot successfully turned the plane around and the flight returned to the airport where the mother was presumably reunited with the child she somehow forgot was with her.
It is rare for planes to turn around or divert midair for anything other than technical or passenger health reasons.