In a bizarre incident that took place in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, a Saudia jet was forced to turn around minutes after take off as a mother had forgotten her baby at the departure lounge of the King Abdul Aziz International Airport. Flight SV832 was on the way to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia from Jeddah.
The woman is said to have realised that the baby wasn't with her after take off and alerted the cabin crew of the same. The pilot of the aircraft then had to get in touch with the Air Traffic Control tower, requesting permission to return, reported Gulf News.
An audio of the conversation between the pilot and the ATC officials has now gone viral on social media and the controllers sound shocked at the reason behind the aircraft requesting a return to the terminal. "May God be with us. Can we come back or what?" the pilot is heard asking, after which the ATC official consults a colleague on the incident and discusses if the aircraft can indeed turn around.
"This flight is requesting to come back...a passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing," the official repeats. The pilot of flight SV832 is then asked to confirm the reason behind the request, to which the pilot replies: "We told you, a passenger left her baby in the terminal and refuses to continue the flight."
The aircraft is then given permission to turn around, but the ATC officials are evidently surprised and confused about the request. "Ok, head back to the gate. This is totally a new one for us!" The official is heard saying.
The pilot has received a lot of appreciation online for being considerate and agreeing to return, despite taking off from the terminal. Social media users lauded his "humanity" and understanding that it was an emergency for the mother.
Meanwhile, it looks like parents forgetting their children at the airport isn't that uncommon. In 2018, a couple in Germany left their five-year-old daughter at the Stuttgart airport while they were returning from a vacation, reported the Daily Mail.
The child was reportedly seen wandering around at the terminal after her parents drove off separately, each assuming that the child was with the other.