Pilot turned plane around so elderly couple could visit dying grandson

Patrick Grafton-Green
Turned around: The pilot headed back to the airport when he heard about the couple's plight: Richard Vandervord

A pilot let an elderly couple get off a plane moments before take-off so they could visit their dying grandson in hospital.

The pair received a text message telling them their grandchild was in intensive care while on board an Etihad Airways plane bound for Abu Dhabi.

At the time the plane was already taxiing towards a runway at Manchester Airport.

However when the couple told the crew, the pilot immediately turned the plane around and headed back to the gate.

Staff also arranged for their luggage to be picked up and for a car, so they could leave the airport as quickly as possible.

Their grandson died later that same night on March 31.

The couple's travel agent, Becky Stephenson, told the BBC: “I've been in the travel business for 25 years and never heard of this happening.”

She added: "My customers were so grateful that staff were very helpful and they were taken care of."

The airline said the couple can use the ticket again on a different date.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes