The Bradley family thought they would never get on holiday, until father Michael decided to take matters in hand and fly the plane himself
Michael Bradley – an off-duty easyJet pilot – was looking forward to enjoying his family holiday in Spain, but it looked like a rostering issue had scuppered their plans.
The captain of the Manchester to Alicante flight was missing leaving passengers and their holidays delayed indefinitely until a replacement could be found.
The pilot dad, who was flying with his wife and young son, decided there was something he could do. Instead of waiting for a pilot to be sourced, he stepped up and offered to fly the plane himself.
Bradley received cheers from fellow passengers when he took to the plane's PA and told them of his plan.
"My wife who's on row 15 with my little boy - hopefully he's asleep by now.
"I should keep it down or else I'll get told off - she rolled over and punched me in the back of the head and said 'our flight's delayed by two hours because they are minus one captain for the flight'.
"So just before we went through security I thought I wonder if this is worth a phone call, I think it is because I'd like to go on holiday.
"I phoned up easyJet and said, 'Hiya, I'm standing in the terminal doing nothing.
"I have got my licence with me - deliberately from being punched in the back of the head at 3am - I have got my ID with me and I'd very much like to go on holiday and if you need a favour I'm standing here ready to go."
Dressed in his holiday casuals – a beach-ready polo shirt and shorts – Bradley admitted he didn't look like a regulation pilot, but he had been given the go ahead to get the flight underway.
"If you're alright for one of your pilots to look like this today, we'll go to Alicante," he said to rapturous applause.
Michelle Potts from Manchester recorded the entire motivational announcement from Bradley, as he volunteered to fly the plane.
She expressed some concern after an unassuming passenger volunteered to fly the delayed plane service "REALLY CASUALLY".
"Luckily the guy was actually a pilot!! Probably would of been cancelled if it wasn't for him!" she wrote to Facebook.
A spokesperson for easyJet told the Manchester Evening News that the plane had been delayed "due to the knock on effects of the French ATC failure on Sunday".
The spokesperson also said that it was an "exceptional" incident, and that Bradley was fit and legally safe to fly.
"We are grateful to one of our pilots who was travelling on holiday from Manchester to Alicante on 2 September with his family and volunteered to operate the flight.
"This meant customers could get to their destination and shows the commitment and dedication of our crew.
"This is fully in line with regulations as he had his licence and ID with him. Safety is always our highest priority."