A flight bound for Malaysia was forced to return to Saudi Arabia after a passenger realised she had left her baby behind.

The pilot of the plane bound for Kuala Lumpur was forced to make the unusual request to return to Jeddah shortly after takeoff when cabin crew were made aware of the passenger's distress.

In the request air traffic control the pilot can be heard asking traffic controllers, "May God be with us. Can we come back or what?"

"A passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing."

Advertisement

When asked by the operator to repeat the request, the pilot can be heard saying: "I told you, a passenger has left her baby in the terminal and she is refusing to continue the flight."

After some deliberation the flight was granted permission to return to Jeddah.

"This is totally a new one for us," said the control tower, finally granting the return.

It is extremely rare for a plane to request a 'turn around' for anything short of a medical or mechanical emergency.

However, it's not the most unusual diversion request submitted to air traffic control.

Nutty request

In 2014 Korean heiress Cho Hyun-ah demanded her plane return to the gate after being served macadamia nuts from a packet rather than a bowl.

Cho was charged and found guilty the following year of 'obstructing aviation safety' for the nutty episode of air rage.

Whitney Houston, we have a problem

The previous year, an American Airlines flight from LA to New York was granted permission to divert via Kansas City airport in order to eject an "unruly passenger" who refused to stop singing Whitney Houston's theme from The Bodyguard.

Advertisement

The passenger was determined to sing "I will always love you" for the duration of the six hour flight.

Causing a stink

In 2013, Qantas Airlines suffered a spate of turn-arounds due to an overwhelming smell. As well as suffering entertainment systems and air-conditioning woes, it turns out the source of the smell on these re-routed planes was relatively benign – newly installed carpets.

However, a 2015 British Airways flight to Dubai was forced to return to Heathrow after just 30 minutes, due to unpleasant smells coming from the plane toilet.

"Insane," raged one passenger on Twitter, who could hardly believe his plane was grounded "because of a smelly poo in the toilet".

Desperate times

French actor Gerard Depardieu famously caused his Dublin-bound plane to return to the airport, after 'relieving himself' in front of fellow passengers.

The actor later apologised for the incident saying that the staff had refused him entry to the toilets during take-off.

In 2017 a passenger was ejected from his Delta Airlines flight from Milwaukee for using the plane toilets while waiting for take-off.

The pilot submitted a request to "return to the gate and remove a passenger" after the desperate passenger cost them their place in the flight queue.

When you gotta go, you gotta go.