Christmas is well behind us now, but during the festive season, you may have found yourself, as I did, re-watching the classic movie Home Alone. Now, as enjoyable a movie as it is, it always struck me as a little ridiculous that a mom would just flat-out forget to bring one of her kids on the family vacation, even if they were travelling in a large group.
However, as it turns out, this does occasionally happen in real life too. A mother on board a recent Saudi Airlines flight to Malaysia realized she’d left her baby at the airport a short time after take-off.
The plane was on its way to Kuala Lumpur from Jeddah when the forgetful passenger realized what had happened, went into panic, and demanded to be reunited with her child, which meant the pilot needed to turn around.
Thankfully, Flight SV832 did turn back to go and retrieve the child, after the mother told cabin crew she had left her baby in the boarding area.
At least in Home Alone, Kate McCallister had the excuse that there was a tribe of children and other family members to contend with. In this case, it seems that mother and baby were travelling alone.
A bizarre video has been posted on to social media where you can hear the pilot requesting permission to head back to the terminal of the King Abdul Aziz International Airport. The air traffic controllers appear to be in disbelief, saying “this is a totally new one for us!”
According to Gulf News, the pilot can be heard asking: “May God be with us. Can we come back or what?”
The air traffic control team spoke to each other about protocol with one operator saying: “This flight is requesting to come back…a passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing.”
The controller then asks the pilot to repeat the reasoning for turning back. To which he says: “We told you, a passenger left her baby in the terminal and refuses to continue the flight.”
After this brief discussion, the pilot is given the go-ahead to turn around and go back to the airport. The story has caused shock and disbelief since it broke on social media, with people praising the pilot for turning around, but also criticizing the unnamed mom for being so neglectful.
One said: “At the airport I’ve thought about it a lot! Getting on that plane and leaving my husband behind… I wouldn’t turn back.”
Another added: “How the hell can you forget you got your baby with you?”
Another referenced Home Alone as we did, saying “Was the baby called Kevin by any chance?”
There were also a few people sticking up for the mother, with one woman telling a story of how she had left her newborn son in the pharmacy and left without realizing. Still, at least you didn’t have to turn a huge aircraft around to get him back!
Mother and baby were safely reunited upon landing. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.