The Story Of The Guy Who Missed Ethiopian Flight 302…

Filed Under: Ethiopian

Yesterday’s crash of Ethiopian Airlines 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi is leaving a lot of people with raw emotions. First and foremost, I feel terribly for the families and friends of the 159 people who lost their lives onboard. It’s heartbreaking.

The stories go beyond that, though. Can you imagine what it’s like to have been booked on the same flight the previous day? Or the next flight on the same route? Or to have been booked on the exact flight but missed it? Or to have been booked on the return flight from Nairobi to Addis Ababa, where you were waiting on a plane that never arrived? That has to be chilling.

Along those lines, one Facebook user shares the story of how he missed ET302. Antonis Mavropoulos was a passenger who was supposed to take ET302, though ended up missing his connection. The way in which he missed his connection is interesting, as being first off the plane on his connecting flight may have caused him to miss his connection.

Here’s his Facebook post (it’s translated from Greek, so obviously it’s not a great translation):

March 10, 2019-my lucky day
Running to catch flight et 302 Addis Ababa – Nairobi, which crashed 6 minutes after taking off, I had my nerves because there was no one to help me go fast. I lost it for two minutes, when I arrived, the boarding was closed and I watched the last passengers in tunnel go in – I screamed to put me in but they didn’t allow it. In fact, the flight lost it because I didn’t give a suitcase (otherwise they would expect me for 10-15 minutes or more, because finding a suitcase loaded wants at least 40 minutes). Also, as I learned later, I lost her because I came out first and very quickly from the plane and the connection ambassador who came to receive me didn’t find me

Airport people, kind, promoted me to the next flight that would leave at 11:20, they apologized for the inconvenience and transferred me to a nice lounge for the-waiting.

On 10:50, as we joined the next flight, two security officers informed me that for security reasons that a senior officer will explain to me, they will not allow my boarding. In my intense protests they left no margin of discussion and led me to their superior, to the airport police department.

He told me gently not to protest and say thank you to God, because I am the only passenger who did not enter the flight et 302 which is missing. And that this was why they can’t let me go, until I determine who I am, because I didn’t get on the flight and everything. At First I thought he was lying, but his style left no margin of doubt.

I felt the ground lost under my feet, but I came back in 1-2 seconds because I thought something else would happen, some communication problem maybe. People were kind, they asked that they had to ask, they my elements and let me wait.

They made me sit in a living room and they told me to wait there until they warn me.

I was looking on the internet to find elements for the flight, friends from Nairobi informed me that 30 minutes after the expected time had not landed and there was no information about her luck and suddenly all the wifi of the airport.

Fortunately there are sms – from close friend I learned that the flight crashed almost just took off and that the issue was going out in the Greek media.

Then I realized that I must immediately contact my own people and tell them that I was not in and that for two small random circumstances I lost the flight – the moment I made that thought i collapsed because then exactly I realized how lucky I stood.

This text I wrote to manage my shock. I’m posting it because I want to tell everyone that the invisible and, nēmatídia of fortune, the out-of-plan circumstances knit the web in which our life is taken. It’s millions of small threads we almost never feel – but one to break is enough to feed the whole web instantly.

Really, it’s the first time I’m so glad I wrote a post and I’m grateful to live and that I have so many friends that made me feel their love – kisses to all and a warm thank you for your touching support. Special citation reference for early surgery and support to Jeroen Par Dijk Panos Fragiadakis Haris Kamariotakis and a big sorry to my family for the shock you’ve been looking for.

Maybe not too old to rock n roll – but certainly too young to die…

Sunday 10/3/2019, 13:00 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

(the post went up from Nairobi to which I finally arrived)

What a story. I can’t even imagine the emotions this guy must be feeling.

Different people will come away from a story like this with different takeaways. Some may conclude that there’s a reason for everything, including this guy not taking the flight. Personally my takeaway is to just be grateful for every single day you live, not sweat the small stuff, and not take all that for granted.

Comments

  1. Puts it into perspective. Number of times we vent because a flight is delayed or we miss a connection. Wow.

  2. A similar story… A Sales person in my company missed the Chicago AA flight that crashed in 1979. He decided to have dinner with a friend and leave later the next day.

  3. Thank you for posting the translation. This is something we all tell ourselves will never happen to (me/us). I will admit, I think about this now more than I used to because of the recent Atlas Air 767 down in Houston. And now this. Should not be this common.

  4. Glad the guy was able to make it entirely about him, and not a word of condolence for the 157 souls lost.

  5. @David and Mao, the guy is barely in his right mind, having just escaped death by minutes. And this is written same day. His faculties are not as yours who can view it from a broad perspective from a far place. I’m sure he meant no disrespect to the dead.

  6. @[email protected]: C’mon guys!!!! Did you read what Ben wrote on his post? “I can’t even imagine the emotions this guy must be feeling.” That might explain why he did not had a word of condolence. I would be shaking for a long time and probably need some sort of help to get over this.

  7. Wow. Just chilling to read, especially seeing the last passengers walking down the jetway, not knowing they would be dead within minutes. God wanted this man alive. I hope he finds the purpose that God has for his life.

    And I do not hold against him that he was not offering condolences. He literally missed his own death by minutes. As Ben said, I can’t imagine the thoughts going through his mind as chilling as it was to simply read about from afar! God bless him and all the families and friends of those lost. 🙁

  8. Read the article link in the first comment. The guy had friends and colleagues that he lost on the flight. It’s sad people make immediate judgement about someone not caring about the lives lost when they could spend a few more seconds reading.

  9. ^Really Will, really?
    Read nothing of what the other commenters said, just straight to your own already debunked conclusion.

  10. @ Derek But god wanted the other 159 people dead? Religious folks are just so irrational…It was simply a coincidence that this man missed his flight, nothing more nothing less.

  11. God decides when days come for everyone! This person is so fortunate to have survived and he should thank God everyday he will live. I am a bit annoyed that he forgot to mention a word on the lives lost of that flight…!!!

  12. “David says:
    March 11, 2019 at 10:19 am”
    One of the most thoughtless comments I have ever read.

  13. Many years ago had similar experience. Six friends were booked and set to board flight from Bogota to Cartagena. Night before early departure, one of them said he wanted to stay behind to see an attraction in Bogota. The other four being couples, I decided to stay with him for the extra day. Next morning flight took off and minutes later hit a mountain killing everyone aboard. Heard my name on radio as one of the missing.

  14. I heard of another two people that had to be on that flight and canceled it because of schedule problams.
    When God wants you to live you stay alive.
    God gave and God took may God be blessed.
    Even if so many people died the one that still lives needs to thank God.
    And we all need to thank God that we weren’t on that flight and we need to pray that such a tragedy should never happen again.

  15. It definitely makes you think. I witnessed a similar incident when I was a firefighter in the Air Force. We had an aircraft go down while practicing for an airshow. I noticed a higher ranking officer in his flight suit walking around the scene and just assumed he was the commander of the squadron the aircraft was assigned to but as it turns out he was supposed to go up with those guys. They let him him pass so he could go to his daughters soccer game. He could actually see the plane go down from the where the fields were. Crazy!

  16. This reminds me of some guy, I think he was Dutch, who was either already booked or considering catching the two Malaysia Airlines flights that ended up in 100% fatalities. I don’t know if his story was confirmed or not, but I can’t imagine missing one fatal flight let alone two fatal flights.

  17. This brings out all the religious crackheads. Your god had nothing to do with this. But whatever brings you comfort.

    Also this dude was telling HIS story the day of the event. I can’t even imagine. Please excuse him for not praying for all the dead. He’s not a pastor, not a politician. Cut him some slack. He’s happy to be alive.

  18. The incongruence of thanking a god for saving one person when that god supposedly minutes later killed 159 who weren’t worthy will never stop baffling me. Hey, if that thought process helps you, then more power to you I guess. It’s a bit offensive when you insist on pushing it on everyone else though. The man who actually experienced this musing on the enormous effect of seemingly insignificant circumstances does affect me, and we can probably all agree that disasters like this make us pause and consider that life can’t be taken for granted.

  19. Whether this guy is religious or not he certainly now has something to live for if he didn’t before. To think how close he came to death makes one realize again how precious life really is and in some aspects how we all play Russian roulette whenever we board a plane, get in our cars or cross the street! I remember back in 2001 I was involved in a serious roll over automobile crash. The investigating Officer told me that I would have been killed instantly had I not been wearing my shoulder belt. The car was a crumpled mass of metal barely recognizable except for the passenger seat and immediate area surrounding it. What if? I had forgotten to wear my seatbelt that day….

  20. You people who are criticizing the man for his lack of condolences for the lost souls…you don’t even know what’s going through his mind when he wrote this note. The man was shaken and who wouldn’t be? So, give him a break you knuckleheads. As if you people would be so composed as to not miss a word or anything. Bunch of clowns. And to those who are God haters/deniers, just shut up. ..esp you @ J. So you are a non-believer – so I get it…but don’t insult us or criticize us…sick of you people.

  21. I’m not religious at all, but were I this guy, I imagine it would be really hard to shake the feeling that missing the flight happened for a reason. Even if it didn’t. It’s human nature to want to want to create rational explanations for things, even if the ultimate (and unknowable) truth is that it was just blind chance/dumb luck.

  22. “would the ones that died also need to thank God?” Under the presumption the biblical God exists, then I’d assume so, since they’d be in heaven now.

    Perpetually agnostic, I can understand people thanking God for not being on that flight. Telling others they “need” to thank God… eh.

    Of course, telling the believers not to force belief in God on other people (basically saying “shut up”) is somewhat counterintuitive, wouldn’t that mean you’re forcing nonbelief on them? 😉

  23. @JoePro – No its not. Telling someone I dont want to hear about their manmade beliefs and nonsensical stories is not the same as telling them to not believe. It’s not atheists and agnostics immediately throwing religion at this. Bible thumpers are. And no I don’t care to hear about their idiotic beliefs.

    If some nitwit wants to fund a pastors jet so be it. A fool and their money are soon parted.

  24. I’m Jewish and by us every time we travel, we are thanking that nothing happened.
    And not just this we are thanking every morning God that we woke up a new day.
    So even if someone dies that day, we are still thanking God that we woke up.
    And yes, even the one that died needs to thank God.
    And not because you don’t know why this happened to him or why it happened at all you don’t need to thank God.
    He knows what he did and what he will do.
    And this doesn’t make us stop crying for the people that died by this tragedy and by the other ones that happened from the world was created.
    And for sure we don’t stop praying that nothing should happen anymore not just to us but to anyone in this entire world.
    But when it happens, we all need to thank God that we weren’t their.
    And the one that was almost their needs to thank God that nothing happened to him.

  25. Don’t get me wrong that i want with all this that everyone here should start believing.
    But i only want that there should not be replies against religions and religion belief.

  26. @Will
    I guess reading comprehension is not for you eh, the post was translated by Facebook as Lucky already wrote.

  27. Eerily, a man also escaped the certain death of AirAsia flight JT610. He was supposed to board the plane to return to his working place, but got trapped by one of the worst traffic jam ever.

    His colleagues (they all were in Jakarta for official business) all flew in the unfortunate plane.

    737 MAX 8… it seems to have gained a predilection to leave one survivor to tell the story…

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