French airport employee 'devastated' after helping latecomers with five children board doomed EgyptAir flight MS804

By Henry Samuel

An airport employee at Roissy Charles de Gaulle is reportedly "devastated" after helping a family with five children board the fateful EgyptAir flight last night after they arrived late, according to French media reports.

Sonia, as the staff member has been called, is still unsure whether the family made or missed the flight.

"It was a family, parents with five children: four girls and a boy.," she told RTL radio.

"They turned up at Terminal 2, where I work. But EgyptAir operates from Terminal 1, so I showed them how to get there," said the employee.

Read more:
EgyptAir MS804: Wreckage found in search for missing flight

"The father was started to get stressed because he could see the time and that they had been mistakenly dropped off at Terminal 2 by the taxi. I could see the dad was stressed so I said: 'Don't worry, I'll try and call the company to see if they can exceptionally wait for you'. That's something I never normally do."

She put in a call and told them to hot foot it to Terminal 1, but didn't follow up to see what happened next.

"And so they left. I hope they didn't make it. One of the girls even said to her father, 'Listen dad, if we make it, we make it and if we don't we'll just take the next one. That's all there is to it.'

"I understood as I'm of North African origin. I keep playing yesterday's scene over, and I'm in shock."

Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo was carrying 56 passengers and 10 crew: two cockpit crew, five cabin crew and three security personnel.

The airline said two babies and one child were on board, apparently suggesting that the family may have missed the flight after all and either taken a later one or stayed put in Paris.

If so, they wouldn't be the first family to have escaped death by chance.

A British couple only failed to take a Malaysia Airlines plane shot down on the Russia-Ukraine border in July 2014 because they were told it was full at the last minute.

Ten Britons died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 passengers and crew.

Barry Sim and his wife Izzy were told there were not enough seats on the plane for them and their baby so they switched to a later KLM flight.

Mr Sim, from Scotland, said: "You get this sick feeling in the pit of your stomach [...] We started getting butterflies. Your heartbeat starts going."

Mrs Sim added: "There must have been someone watching over us and saying 'you must not get on that flight'."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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