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.