A baby boy born on a plane between Saudi Arabia and India has been promised free flights for life. Indian airline Jet Airways said on Sunday that it had bestowed the honour on a baby born on a Boeing 737 bound for Kochi from Dammam.
Flight 9W 569 was forced to divert to Mumbai after a woman went into premature labour on what would have been a five-hour flight. The airline’s crew, who are trained to deliver babies, and a paramedic on the flight assisted with the birth.
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In a tweet, the airline praised the staff as well as mother’s “indomitable spirit”.
“The guest delivered a baby boy at 35,000 feet,” a spokesperson from the airline confirmed to Mashable. “Upon landing, both mother and the baby were rushed to Holy Spirit in Mumbai and are doing well.”
In April, another plane landed with one more passenger than it took off when Nafi Diaby, flying from Conakry, Guinea, to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, went into labour and gave birth at 42,000 feet.
It used to be assumed that any baby born mid-air would be be gifted free flights for life by the airline, but in reality it is actually rare.
Shona Owen is perhaps best known to British audiences. The now-26 year-old was born “on an aeroplane 10 miles south of Mayfield, Sussex”, according to her passport.
Ms Owen, whose mother was flying British Airways back to the UK from Accra, Ghana, was given two free return flights to anywhere in the world by BA on her 18th birthday, but no free flights for life. Virgin, too, have told Telegraph Travel air-born babies would not receive the privilege.
Not so for a baby born on Libyan airline Buraq Air, awarded free flights for life last year. The only other carriers to have been known to do the same are Thai Airways, Asia Pacific Airlines, AirAsia and Polar Airlines.