A BA flight from London, destined for Düsseldorf in Germany, missed the runway by 850km after the incorrect papers were submitted, landing in Edinburgh by mistake

Passengers were dumbfounded and understandably irate after their plane landed and the captain welcomed them all "to Edinburgh".

Passengers on the 7:45 am service from London City Airport had been expecting to arrive in Germany, not Scotland.

The British Airways flight had flown for an hour and ten minutes in the wrong direction before landing at completely the wrong airport – apparently unaware of their passengers' expectations.

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After the blunder was made clear, the plane took the angry and heavily delayed passengers on to Düsseldorf.

The flight was operated by WDL (Westdeutsche Luftwerbung) and leased out by BA.

BA said it would be working with the German airline to find out why the wrong flight plan was submitted.

"We have apologised to customers for this interruption to their journey and will be contacting them all individually," British Airways said in a statement.

On its previous flight, on Sunday the 24th March, the plane flew to Edinburgh and back so it could be possible that the pilots were repeating the flight plan by mistake.

It is believed the crew were unaware they were following the wrong route until they touched down in the Scottish Capital.

Mystery detour: The plane bound for Dusseldorf made an 850km detour by mistake. Photo / Flight Aware
Mystery detour: The plane bound for Dusseldorf made an 850km detour by mistake. Photo / Flight Aware

The German airline said it was "working closely with the authorities to investigate how the obviously unfortunate mix-up of flight schedules could occur.

"At no time has the safety of passengers been compromised. We flew the passengers on the flight with number BA3271 to Düsseldorf after the involuntary stopover in Edinburgh."

It is not clear how many passengers were onboard when the plane took this involuntary detour.

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It seems highly unusual that an announcement wasn't made by the crew – informing them of the weather and forecasted arrival time for their destination.

Perhaps the passengers might have dismissed an odd initial announcement as a mistake, they weren't expecting the pilots to follow through with their flight to Edinburgh.

Until, of course, they arrived at 8:45 am in the wrong place entirely.

One passenger made their feelings clear on Twitter. Twitter user Son Tran was unamused by BA's "mystery travel lottery" although he did admit it "feels like an honest mistake" after talking to the cabin crew.


BA followed up on Twitter announcing the plane's bizarre detour, explaining they "don't have any information as to why at the moment."


The customer service team put passengers onto a 10:30 flight to the intended destination of Düsseldorf, with apologies and a very unusual excuse for arriving late to their meetings.