London - After being told their flight was delayed due to a "missing" pilot, holidaymakers to Spain were resigned to arriving late.
So many were astonished and nervous when a fellow passenger made an offer to fly the plane.
Fortunately, he was easyJet pilot Michael Bradley, who was desperate to get away on holiday with his wife and son.
Taking over the loudspeaker before the flight took off to Alicante, Bradley said his wife had woken him up in the night to tell him about the likely delay, caused by problems with French air traffic control.
So before they set off for Manchester airport, Bradley decided to take his pilot’s licence with him "just in case". When he phoned his bosses at the terminal, they jumped at his offer to captain the plane.
"They phoned me back and said, 'please, please, pretty please with a big cherry on top, can you fly the aeroplane to Alicante'?" he said. In a video shared on Facebook, Bradley apologised to the bemused travellers on Monday for his casual attire – but admitted he had "stuck a pair of shoes on just in case."
He added: "If you’re alright for one of your pilots to look like this today, we’ll go to Alicante," which was met with cheers from the passengers.
One of those on board, Michelle Potts, described Bradley as a 'legend'. She admitted: "I was a bit nervous at first but, once he told us on the plane [who he was], I was just relieved that we weren’t going to be delayed."
An easyJet spokesperson stressed that Bradley was well rested, having previously had four days off, and was legally permitted to fly the aircraft.