Flight to Germany takes the high road … to Scotland

Düsseldorf, and not a sporran to be seen. Image: RockytheRooster | CC BY-SA 3.0

An airliner flew to Scotland instead of Germany yesterday after the wrong flight plan was filed.  British Airways flight BA3271, operated from London City airport by German sub-contractor WDL Aviation, initially landed in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, rather than the German city of Dusseldorf, on the Rhine river.

The mix-up appeared to have been caused by a previous day’s flight plan being reused in error, the BBC reported.

British Airways told the BBC the aircraft’s final flight on Sunday had been a return trip to Edinburgh from London City airport and it appeared the same flight plan was mistakenly repeated the next day. Because the aircraft flew according to a filed flight plan there had been no danger, British Airways said.

Passenger reactions ranged from frustration that the aircraft’s toilets were blocked and the galley had run out of snacks to tolerant and amused. A British passenger used twitter to confess that while he had himself once fallen asleep on the London Underground and ended up in a lonely suburban tube station, he had not expected to do the same on an aircraft.

‘I have fallen asleep, missed my stop and woken up at the end of the district line before. This morning I never expected to wake up from my Dusseldorf-bound flight … in Edinburgh,’ Peter James-Hamilton said.

The flight continued from Edinburgh to Dusseldorf after the unscheduled stopover.


  1. flight from London to Edinburgh then Dusseldorf and the dunnies are blocked??? What the heck are those passengers doing in that short time …

  2. Hang on..thats not funny. Think of all the ‘systems’ that failed and if it was a product of the almighty dollar and incessant cost cutting – and pilots not telling bean counters to take a flying leap themselves..

  3. I think it would be useful to understand what the crew were thinking. When they got to (say) 100NM north of London, did they still believe they were going to Dusseldorf as they expected, or did they actually think they were supposed to be flying to EDI?

  4. Plenty of A/C have landed at the wrong airport or made approaches and realised whoops wrong drome, nothing new here! Even the USAF have done it!

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