Usually when a flight is diverted or returns to the airport, it’s a case of technical or medical emergencies, sometimes if there’s an unruly passenger.
But recently there was a plane that was forced to return to the airport because a woman forgot her child at the gate. A flight going from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia was forced to turn around and head back, after the mother realized her terrible mistake and alerted the crew. The pilot then radioed to the air traffic controllers at King Abdulaziz International Airport to ask if the plane could come back. Initially, they were stumped, but the pilot was granted permission for return.
Audio of the radio call has been translated, and the exchange can be seen below:
“This flight is requesting to come back, a passenger forgot her baby in the waiting area, the poor thing. May God be with us. Can we come back or what?”
The air controller even asked the pilot to confirm the reason behind the request.
“We told you, a passenger left her baby in the terminal and refuses to continue the flight.”
“Ok, head back to the gate. This is totally a new one for us!”
While people on the Internet have been praising the pilot for his quick actions, the criticism has been swirling regarding the mother. The main question everyone wants to know, is what exactly happened? How could a mom forget her baby? Reports are saying that the woman actually left the baby with a sibling, and neither made it onto the flight because of some confusion at the terminal.
While it’s a definitely a new one, it wouldn’t be the first time a parent has accidently left their child behind somewhere. Some of the more common places seem to be the backseat of a car in the heat, the tops of vehicles, stores, the park, daycare, or school. While it’s happened, people are trying to understand how it happens.
It’s a phenomenon sometimes called, “Forgotten Baby Syndrome” and scientists say that it happens when the brain goes into an auto-pilot mode while we’re doing daily activities. It can sometimes cause us to forget to complete a plan. Dr. David Diamond told NBC News that “the child is quiet and out of sight, which causes the parent to lose awareness of the task they’re out to do.”
It can be seen in similar but less intense situations such as forgetting to turn off a stove before leaving the house. It’s just a side effect of an overwhelmed brain, and for many parents, they are overwhelmed. Psychology experts say people shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Judgment aside, other parents can probably understand the mother’s panic level when she realized what happened.
What do you think? Have you ever accidently left your child behind in an unusual place?