Passengers’ Stornoway near miss

Two passengers bound for Inverness were almost put on the Edinburgh plane by mistake recently at Sumburgh Airport.

Members of the airport’s consultative committee heard the two women were just stopped in time before heading out on to the runway to board the wrong flight.

Passengers for both Edinburgh and Inverness were in the departure lounge at the same time when the incident happened.

The blunder has led to calls from committee chairman Jimmy Smith for better communication about departing flights.

He said both the women “were in full possession of all their faculties” and news about the departing flight had been “rattled off” in an indistinct manner.

The women had gone forward to the door under the impression it was their flight that had been called. Their tickets were accepted but the person in charge of boarding quickly realised the mistake and pulled them back.

The news follows a similar mistake at Edinburgh Airport in February, when two Norwegian businessmen intending to fly to Sumburgh were put on a flight bound for Stornoway.

The error was not spotted until after the plane touched down in the Western Isles.

A similar incident also involved Lerwick councillor Jonathan Wills, who narrowly avoided being sent on a Stornoway flight, again from Edinburgh Airport.

The consultatitive committee heard there was a proposal to improve the level of information about outgoing flights and include it in a web-based service.

Other airports have a simple screen at the gate, but that could only be fitted at extra cost.

Mr Smith said the women complained about a poor quality of announcement at the time, although he added they had been quite happy at the thought of ending up in Edinburgh instead of the Highland capital.


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