BA Diversion Mystery Deepens

A British Airways A380 diverted to Vancouver Monday.
A British Airways A380 diverted to Vancouver Monday.

Authorities are investigating why a British Airways A380 diverted more than 1,000 miles to Vancouver on Monday night and the entire crew left 400 puzzled passengers in the aircraft while they checked in at hospitals.

It’s now been confirmed that all 25 crew members on the super jumbo were the first to leave the aircraft at the gate in Vancouver and most of them walked into emergency wards pulling their baggage.

The aircraft was on a flight from San Francisco to London and was over Saskatoon when a pilot reported to air traffic control that there was some sort of medical problem on board. He initially asked to land in Calgary but then went to Vancouver in a diversion lasting more than two hours.

The airline has shed little light on the strange series of events but the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which has apparently ruled out any sort of smoke or fume-related issues.

In an email to a British journalist, CAA Chair Dame Deirdre Hutton said there was no smoke and all but ruled out involvement of bleed air.

“Initial reports indicate that the event was highly localised within the aircraft (hence only some cabin crew affected and not the passengers),” the email read.

Meanwhile, the passengers were taken to local hotels and most only got a few hours of sleep before heading back to the airport to arrange for another flight. Many were critical of the lack of information from the airline and the apparent abandonment of the aircraft by the crew.

The airplane was cleared for flight and deadheaded back to London on Wednesday.