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Sat, Sep 23, 2017

Virgin Atlantic Diverts London-To-Boston Flight To Manchester

Airline Said It Was Necessary To Deliver A Pilot To That Airport

Passengers aboard a Virgin Atlantic flight from Heathrow to Boston last Friday got an unexpected trip to Manchester, U.K. before heading across the Atlantic.

The U.K. newspaper The Independent reports that passengers on the flight to Boston were given a letter as they checked in for the flight informing them of the diversion. “In order for us to ensure our customers are able to fly from Manchester to New York today, we need to fly one of our pilots to Manchester. We have looked at other options to achieve this, but this is the only option available to use,” the letter stated.

Passengers were told to remain on the plane during the stop at Manchester, where the Dreamliner needed to be refueled before setting out across the Atlantic. The stop took about two hours, according to the report.

While some time was recaptured during the flight, it still arrived at Boston about 90 minutes behind schedule. That forced about a two-hour delay for those passengers on the return flight to Heathrow.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson explained that one of the pilots in Manchester fell ill prior to their flight, and "rather than cancel a flight, we took the decision to take a pilot from our London Heathrow base to operate the aircraft," an Airbus A330.

It is estimated that the airline spent more than $13,500 to ferry the pilot from Heathrow to Manchester.

(Image from file)

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