An elderly couple on their way to Australia via Abu Dhabi had already boarded their Etihad Airways plane at Manchester Airport in Manchester, England but as the plane was taxiing on the runway, the husband noticed some missed calls from his son when he was about to turn off his phone.
He quickly read the text messages on his phone and was alarmed to find a message from his son that their grandson was in intensive care. Knowing that time was precious in such situations, the elderly couple informed the crew.
Breaking protocol, the pilot decided to turn the plane around so the elderly couple could visit their dying grandson. The crew also arranged for their baggage to be off-loaded from the plane.
Within minutes, the couple and their baggage were back at the airport – and the plane took off without further hitch albeit a couple of minutes delayed.
The airline’s ground crew also retrieved the couple’s car from the parking area and took it to arrivals so that they could get to the hospital faster. Indeed, the couple was able to reach the hospital and visit their grandson; sadly, though, the child died the following day.
Still, it was great that the airline had given this couple a chance to spend some time with their grandson before he passed away. Moreover, despite technically having used their tickets, the airline promised the elderly couple that they could rebook the tickets on a different date so they could still go to Australia as they had originally planned.