When the pilot of a plane flying from Manchester to Alicante did not turn up, an off-duty pilot of easyJet boarding the plane with his family asked to fly the plane to its destination and actually did so! On hearing the announcement of the delay, the off-duty pilot named Michael Bradley announced to his fellow passengers from the tarmac of Manchester Airport that he had offered to step in and fly them all to Alicante in order to avoid a two-hour delay.
With a "punch to the back of the head" at 3 AM, the airman's wife "sitting in row 15" had informed him of the delay before they set off for the airport from home. That's the reason why he deliberately packed his licence and ID. The pilot also decided to make a call to see if his services were needed. Bradley said that he hoped people are okay with a pilot dressed in holiday wear (which he was putting on). The out-of-the-box incident brought in laughter and applause in the plane.
Speaking of the incident on public address system, he said: "So I phoned up easyJet and said, 'Hiya, I'm standing in the terminal doing nothing... and I'd very much like to go on holiday - and if you need a favour, I'm standing here ready to go.' And they said, 'We'll phone you back."
Bradley said that 38 seconds later, an easyJet representative phoned back with their official request to fly the plane uttering cheesy liners with it: "Please, please, pretty please with a big cherry on top."
One of the passengers named Michelle Hannah Potts detailed her experience on Facebook. She wrote that she had been expecting a delay after seeing it on the board before it abruptly changed to the original timing. She added that when she inquired about the quick change, the people at the desk at the boarding gate told her that one of the pilots was missing and someone on the plane, an off-duty pilot, had offered to replace him.
The flight was delayed due to a knock-on effect of a French air traffic control failure on Sunday, which led easyJet to rely on standby resources across its network. As Bradley was well rested and had four days off prior to the very day, he was legally permitted to fly, the company said. They also quoted that they were "grateful" to Bradley for volunteering and highlighted the commitment and dedication of their crew for wanting to go the extra mile.
Speaking on the legalities, the company added that the incident was within regulations. The Pilot was carrying his ID. They asserted that the safety of the passengers is their highest priority.