Saudi Arabian Air Traffic Control was left almost speechless over the weekend when a Saudia Airlines passenger jet declared an emergency shortly after take-off.
The pilot informed ATC that Flight SV832, from Jeddah to Kuala Lampur was returning to the airport because a passenger had forgotten her baby on the ground.
A video of the exchange, posted on YouTube, shows ATCs uncertainty as to how to respond.
“May God be with us. Can we come back or what?” the pilot is heard asking ATC.
The operator, after taking the flight number, is heard asking another colleague about the protocol.
“This flight is requesting to come back…a passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing.”
The operator then asks the pilot to re-confirm the reason for turning back.
The pilot is overhead speaking: “We told you, a passenger left her baby in the terminal and refuses to continue the flight.”
“Ok, head back to the gate. This is totally a new one for us!”
The passenger, a Saudi Arabian national, had reportedly informed cabin crew shortly after take-off that she had forgotten her baby in the boarding area at the terminal of the King Abdul Aziz International Airport.
In the video comments, the airline was widely praised for its “humanity” in its handling of the incident.